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THE    PUBLIC 
PROvSEGUTOR 


1:5* 


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THE  LIBRARY 

OF 

THE  UNIVERSITY 

OF  CALIFORNIA 

LOS  ANGELES 


THh 

PUBLIC 

PROSECU'IOK 

OF 

Tlih 

ThRROR 


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^J^^'^h^^^m.e^    .s>^^u^.^^?ty^^^y  ^^.^^H^^^M^e^-  ^i.^^A^n^^i/^^^^^ 


J^ 


■^/toTn^  u^ 


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THE 
PUBLIC   PROSECUTOR 
: :  OF  THE  TERROR  ! ! 

ANTOINE  QUENTIN  FOUQUIER-TINVILLE 
TRANSLATED  FROM  THE  FRENCH  OF 
ALPHONSE  DUNOYER  BY  A.  W.  EVANS 
WITH  A  PHOTOGRAVURE  FRONTISPIECE 
AND    FOURTEEN     OTHER     ILLUSTRATIONS 


HERBERT  JENKINS  LIMITED 
ARUNDEL  PLACE,  HAYMARKET 
LONDON,    S.W.      «      «      MCMXIV 


LONDON   AND  NORWICH   PRESS,  LIMITFD,  LONDON  AND  NORWICH 


DC 

INTRODUCTION 

IN  the  famous  oval  room  of  the  Soubise  Palace,  where, 
amid  the  gilded  garlands    of   foliage  and  flowers,  the 
eighteenth-century  painter,   Charles    Natoire,  grouped 
the  supple  and  youthful  figures  which  he  had  borrowed 
from  the  legend  of  Cupid  and  Psyche,  there  is  a  melancholy 
glass  case  which  to-day  contains  the  will    of  Louis  XVI. 
and  the  last  letter  of  Marie  Antoinette. 

A  note  it  is,  rather  than  a  letter.  Two  yellow,  rumpled, 
ink-stained  sheets  on  which  the  Queen  of  France,  con- 
demned to  death,  expressed  her  last  thoughts  and  addressed 
her  final  recommendations  to  her  sister-in-law,  Madame 
Ehsabeth. 

The  note  was  written  at  the  conclusion  of  that  terrible 
final  appearance  before  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal.  It  is 
dated,  "  This  i6th  of  October,  at  half-past  four  in  the 
morning."     Seven  and  a  half  hours  before  the  execution  ! 

"  It  is  to  you,  my  sister,  that  I  am  writing  for  the  last 
time.  I  have  just  been  condemned,  not  to  a  shameful 
death,  that  is  only  for  criminals,  but  to  join  your  brother. 
Innocent  as  he,  I  hope  to  show  the  same  firmness  in  these 
last  moments.  I  am  as  calm  as  one  whose  conscience  has  no 
reproach  ;  I  feel  profound  regret  at  leaving  my  poor  children, 
you  know  that  I  only  existed  for  them  and  for  you,  my  good 
and  tender  sister.  In  what  a  position  do  I  leave  you  who 
in  your  affection  have  sacrificed  everything  to  be  with  us  ! 
I  have  learned  from  the  speech  for  the  defence  in  the  trial 
that  my  daughter  has  been  separated  from  you.  Alas  ! 
poor  child,  I  dare  not  write  to  her,  she  would  not  receive  my 
letter  ;  I  do  not  even  know  if  this  will  reach  you.  Receive 
for  them  both  this  my  blessing  ;  I  hope  that  one  day,  when 
they  are  bigger,  they  will  be  re-united  with  you,  and  enjoy 
to  the  full  your  tender  care  ;   let  them  both  think  of  what  I 

vii 


9908S3 


viii  INTRODUCTION 

have  not  ceased  to  inspire  in  them,  that  the  principles  and 
exact  execution  of  one's  duties  are  the  fundamental  basis 
of  hfe,  that  their  friendship  and  mutual  confidence  will 
cause  its  happiness.  Let  my  daughter  feel  that  at  her 
age  she  ought  always  to  help  her  brother  by  the  counsels 
that  her  greater  experience  and  affection  inspire  her  with  ;  let 
my  son,  on  his  side,  render  to  his  sister  every  care,  every 
service  that  affection  can  inspire  ;  lastly,  let  both  feel  that 
in  whatever  position  they  may  find  themselves,  they  will 
be  truly  happy  only  by  their  union  ;  let  them  take  example 
from  us.  How  much  consolation  has  our  friendship  brought 
us  in  our  misfortunes !  Happiness  is  doubly  enjoyed  when  one 
can  share  it  with  a  friend  ;  and  where  is  a  more  tender  or 
devoted  friend  to  be  found  than  in  one's  own  family  ?  Let 
my  son  never  forget  his  father's  last  words  which  I  repeat 
to  him  expressly  ;   let  him  never  seek  to  avenge  our  death, 

"  I  have  to  speak  to  you  of  something  very  painful  to  me. 
I  know  how  much  trouble  this  child  must  have  caused  you. 
Forgive  him,  dear  sister  ;  think  of  his  age  and  of  how  easy 
it  is  to  make  a  child  say  what  one  likes,  and  even  what  he 
does  not  understand.  A  day  will  come,  I  hope,  when  he  will 
better  realise  the  value  of  your  goodness  and  tenderness 
towards  both.  It  remains  for  me  to  confide  my  last  thoughts 
to  you.  I  should  have  liked  to  write  them  to  you  from 
the  beginning  of  my  trial,  but,  besides  the  fact  that  I  was 
not  allowed  to  write,  its  course  has  been  so  rapid  that  I 
really  should  not  have  had  the  time. 

"  I  die  in  the  Catholic,  Apostohc,  and  Roman  religion, 
in  that  of  my  fathers,  in  that  in  which  I  have  been  brought 
up  and  always  professed  ;  having  no  spiritual  consolations 
to  expect,  not  knowing  if  there  are  priests  of  that  religion  here ; 
and  if  there  were,  the  position  in  which  I  am  would  expose 
them  too  much  if  once  they  entered  here.  I  sincerely  ask 
God's  pardon  for  all  the  faults  I  may  have  committed  since 
I  came  into  being  ;  I  hope  that  in  His  goodness  He  will 
hear  my  last  prayers  as  well  as  those  that  I  have  long  made 
that  He  will  receive  my  soul  in  His  mercy  and  goodness.  I 
ask  pardon  from  all  whom  I  know,  and  especially  from  you, 
my  sister,  for  all  the  trouble  that,  without  wishing  it,  I  may 
have  caused  them.  I  pardon  all  my  enemies  for  the  evil 
they  have  done  me.     I  here  say  adieu  to  my  aunts  and  to 


INTRODUCTION  ix 

all  my  brothers  and  sisters.  I  once  had  friends  :  the  idea 
of  being  separated  from  them  and  their  sufferings  for  ever  is 
one  of  the  greatest  regrets  that  I  take  with  me  in  dying  ; 
let  them  know  at  least  that  to  my  last  moment  I  have 
thought  of  them. 

"  Adieu,  my  good  and  tender  sister  ;  may  this  letter 
reach  you  !  Think  always  of  me.  I  embrace  you  with  all 
my  heart  as  well  as  those  poor  dear  children.  Oh  !  God  ! 
how  heart-rending  it  is  to  leave  them  for  ever  !  Adieu  ! 
Adieu  !  I  am  going  to  occupy  myself  with  nothing  more 
except  my  spiritual  duties.  As  I  am  not  free  in  my  actions, 
perhaps  they  will  bring  me  a  priest^ ;  but  I  here  protest 
that  I  shall  not  say  a  word  and  shall  treat  him  as  an  absolute 
stranger." 

The  Queen  has  not  signed  this  note,  which  is  entirely 
written  in  her  own  hand.  But  the  last  page  bears  the  five 
following  signatures. — A.  Q.  Fouquier,  Lecointre,  Legot, 
Guffroy,  and  Massieu. 

How  is  this  to  be  explained  ? 

The  first  is  the  signature  of  x\ntoine  Quentin  Fouquier- 
Tinville,  Public  Prosecutor  of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal 
of  Paris  ;  the  other  four  are  those  of  the  members  of  the 
National  Convention,  charged  with  the  verification  of  the 
ex-Public  Prosecutor's  papers  when,  after  Robespierre's 
fall,  that  magistrate  was  ordered  to  be  indicted  and  placed 
on  trial  in  his  turn. 

The  gaoler  of  the  Conciergerie  had  taken  possession,  of 
the  Queen's  last  letter  ;  he  had  handed  it  over  to  Fouquier- 
Tinville.  Marie  Antoinette's  presentiment  did  not  deceive 
her  when  she  wrote  :  "  Alas  !  poor  child,  I  dare  not  write 
to  her,  she  would  not  receive  my  letter  ;  I  do  not  even  know 
if  this  will  reach  you."  "  May  this  letter  reach  you  !  "  she 
also  wrote.  Those  pages  never  reached  their  address.  The 
Pubhc  Prosecutor  kept  among  his  papers  this  moving 
expression  of  the  last  prayers  of  a  dead  woman.  Without 
any  regard  for  the  final  wishes  of  a  mother  whom  his  Tribunal 
sent  to  the  scaffold,  he  arranged  among  his  portfolios  the  note 

'  A  priest  who  had  taken  the  oath  to  the  Civ'il  Constitution  of 
the  Clergy. — Tr. 


X  INTRODUCTION 

in  which  ^larie  Antoinette  breathed  forth  all  the  pride  of 
her  character  and  all  the  ardent  and  simple  tenderness  of 
her  heart. 

That  is  why  to-day,  after  a  hundred  and  seventeen  years 
have  passed,  those  who  visit  the  Princesse  de  Soiibise's 
drawng-room  pause,  hlled  \nth  emotion,  before  the  mystery 
of  this  touching  letter,  countersigned  in  the  clumsy  and 
uncouth  handwriting  of  the  famous  Public  Prosecutor. 
They  ask  questions.  They  want  to  know.  And  when  they 
are  given  the  above  explanation,  many  of  them  remain 
there,  motionless,  and  ask  in  low  tones  and  with  a  sort  of 
shiver  in  their  voice  :  "  What  was  Fouquier-Tinville  then  ? 
A  brute  ?     A  monster  ?  " 

Fouquier-Tinville  does  not  seem  to  have  had  the  appear- 
ance of  a  monster,  if  we  refer  to  these  terms  in  a  note  which 
was  sent  to  him  by  Therese  Fran^oise  de  Stainville,  Princesse 
de  Grimaldi-Monaco,  guillotined  on  the  qth  of  Thermidor  in 
the  year  II.,  the  very  day  of  Robespierre's  fall : — 

"  Citizen,  I  ask  you,  in  the  name  of  humanity,  to  have 
this  packet  sent  to  my  children  ;  you  seemed  to  me  to  have  a 
humane  look,  and  when  I  saw  you  I  regretted  that  you  were 
not  my  judge  ;  perhaps  I  should  not  be  charging  you  with 
a  last  wish  if  you  had  been.  Heed  the  request  of  an  unhappy 
mother,  who  perishes  at  the  age  of  happiness  and  who  leaves 
children  deprived  of  their  only  resource  ;  let  them  at  least 
receive  this  last  evidence  of  my  tenderness,  and  I  shall 
ever  owe  you  gratitude. "^ 

The  Princesse  de  Monaco  had  declared  herself  pregnant, 
but  soon  afterwards  she  had  written  to  Fouquier  : — 

"  I  warn  you,  citizen,  that  I  am  not  with  child.  I  wanted 
to  tell  you  so  :  no  longer  hoping  that  you  will  come,  I  send 
you  word.  I  have  not  stained  my  mouth  with  this  lie 
through  fear  of  death,  or  to  avoid  it,  but  to  gi^•e  myself  a 
day  longer  in  order  to  cut  off  my  hair  myself  and  not  to  yield 
it  to  be  cut  by  the  hand  of  the  executioner.  It  is  the  only 
legacy  I  can  leave  to  my  children  ;  at  least  it  must  be 
unstained.     Choiseul  Stainville  Josephe  Grimaldi-Monaco, 

*  Archives  Nationales,  W.  121,  ist  dossier,  piece  100. 


INTRODUCTION  xi 

a    foreign    princess    dying    by    the    injustice    of    French 
judges."  ^ 

The  princess's  hair  was  enclosed  in  a  paper  containing 
two  notes,  one  addressed  to  her  two  daughters,  the  other  to 
their  governess. 

"  My  children,  this  is  my  hair.  I  have  put  off  my  death  for  a 
day  not  out  of  fear,  but  because  I  wished  to  be  able  to  cut  off 
this  sad  spoil  myself  in  order  to  give  it  to  you  ;  I  did  not 
want  it  done  by  the  executioner's  hand,  and  I  had  only  this 
means  ;  I  have  passed  a  day  more  in  this  agony,  but  I  do 
not  complain  of  it  ;  I  ask  that  my  hair  be  kept  in  a  phial 
covered  with  black  crape,  and  locked  up  throughout  the 
year,  and  that  only  three  or  four  times  in  a  year  you  have 
in  your  room  before  your  eyes  what  remains  of  your  unhappy 
mother  who  died  loving  you,  and  who  regrets  life  only  because 
she  cannot  be  useful  to  you.  I  recommend  you  to  your 
grandfather  ;  if  you  see  him,  tell  him  that  I  am  filled  with 
the  thought  of  him,  and  let  him  keep  you  in  place  of  every- 
thing, and  you,  my  children,  take  care  of  his  old  age  and 
make  him  forget  his  misfortunes." 

To  the  governess  she  wrote  : — 

"  I  have  already  wTitten  to  you  one  word  and  now  I 
write  another  to  recommend  my  children  to  you  ;  when  you 
receive  this  I  shall  be  no  more,  but  may  my  memory  cause 
you  to  take  pity  on  my  unfortunate  children,  for  that  is  the 
only  feeling  they  can  then  inspire.  The  ring  in  which  my 
children's  names  were  written,  and  which  you  ought  to  have 
received,  is  a  keepsake  that  I  offer  you.  It  is  the  only  thing 
of  which  I  can  dispose  ;  let  Louise  know  the  reason  why  I 
have  postponed  my  death  ;  let  her  not  suspect  me  of 
weakness."  2 

In  spite  of  "  the  humane  look  "  that  the  Princesse  de 
Monaco  found  in  him,  Fouquier-Tinville  did  not  forward 
these  affecting  notes  to  the  orphans  for  whom  they  had 
been  written.  The  Public  Prosecutor  arranged  them  among 
the  papers  of  his  daily  correspondence,  where  they  are  pre- 
served in  the  portfolios  of  the  National  Archives. 

1  Archives  Nationales,  W.  431,  dossier  968,  piece  7. 

«  Archives  Nationales,  W.  xzi,  ist  dossier,  pp.  100  bis  and  100  ter. 


xii  INTRODUCTION 

A  sombre  and  enigmatical  figure  is  Fouquier-Tinville. 
For  a  long  time  his  name  was  in  men's  memory  the  5\Tnbol 
of  the  whole  past  of  the  Terror,  and  for  a  long  time  to  come 
this  tragic  name  will  remain  the  symbol  of  the  "  judicial 
assassinations  "^  committed  by  the  Tribunal  estabhshed  on 
March  lo,  1793. 

Yet  in  the  scales  of  impartial  history,  the  Pubhc  Prosecu- 
tor's responsibiht}'  is  a  httle  less  heavy  than  that  of  Presi- 
dent Dumas,  President  Herman,  Judge  Cofhnhal,  Lescot- 
Fleuriot,  the  Pubhc  Prosecutor's  deputy,  and  the  jurors. 

Paradoxical  as  the  assertion  may  appear,  Fouquier- 
Tinville  displayed  sentiments  of  humanity  on  rare  occasions. 
The  others  never  did.  They  questioned  the  accused,  and 
their  questions  were  propounded  with  such  a  refinement  of 
perfidy,  with  such  a  hypocritical  though  seeming  regard  for 
legahty,  that  the  accused  felt  condemned  in  advance.  It  is 
only  necessary  to  read  Herman's  cross-examination  of  Marie 
Antoinette  and  his  summing-up  in  the  Queen's  trial  to  form 
an  opinion  of  the  worth  of  that  civil-spoken  and  inexorable 
personage.  President  at  the  trial  of  the  Girondins,  at  those 
of  the  Due  d'Orleans,  of  Bamave,  of  Danton  and  the 
Dantonists,  this  official  saw  his  zeal  rewarded  by  an  excel- 
lent place  which,  indeed,  was  no  sinecure  and  involved 
risks.  Three  days  after  Danton's  execution,  Herman  suc- 
ceeded Pare  ;  he  was  appointed  Minister  of  Justice,  being 
replaced  in  the  Presidency  of  the  Tribunal  by  Dumas. 

Dumas  distinguished  himself  by  his  brutaUty.  He  is 
said  to  have  been  an  habitual  drunkard.  He  was  continu- 
ally in  rivalry  wath  Fouquier-Tinville,  who  at  the  time  of 
his  owTi  trial  said,  "  He  was  my  mortal  enemy."  He  was 
always  armed  with  two  pistols  which,  when  in  court,  he 
placed  on  the  table  before  him.  He  interrupted  the  accused. 
During  the  adjournment,  he  would  slip  among  the  jury 
and  hold  conversations  with  them.'''  He  was  ferocious, 
aggressive,  and  ill-tempered.    His  usual  procedure,  when  an 

1  The  phrase  is  that  of  Boissy  d'Anglas  in  the  Moniteur,  March 

23.  1795.  P-  747.  col.  3. 

»  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  63. 


■a;vr.vM'£  scua^:; 


INTRODUCTION  xiii 

accused  person  spoke,  was  to  cut  him  short,  and  definitely 
refuse  him  the  right  to  speak.  Fouquier  opposed  him,  and 
caused  witnesses  to  be  heard  in  spite  of  the  President. 

After  the  law  of  the  22nd  of  Prairial,  we  shall  see  that 
Dumas  and  Coffinhal  contented  themselves  with  asking  the 
accused  their  names  and  positions,  and  briefly  reminding 
them  of  the  heads  of  the  indictment  brought  against  them. 
When  the  accused  answered,  Dumas  would  exclaim  :  "  We 
were  expecting  what  you  are  saying.  You  are  priests  and 
nobles.     That  is  enough.     Let  us  go  on  to  the  next."^ 

When  he  cross-examined  Madame  Roland,  the  sculptor 
Lescot-Fleuriot,  Fouquier-Tinville's  deputy,  propounded 
to  the  accused  long,  embarrassing  questions.  He  demanded 
clear,  short  answers.  Then  he  interrupted  the  examination, 
burst  into  a  rage,  and  said  :  '^  With  such  a  chatterbox  we 
shall  never  finish.  Besides,  we  are  not  at  the  Ministry  of 
the  Interior^  to  indulge  in  wit." 

When  Pache,  the  Mayor  of  Paris,  being  compromised  in 
the  case  of  Hebert  and  the  Hebertists,  was  imprisoned,  Lescot- 
Fleuriot  took  his  place  and  became  one  of  Robespierre's 
firmest  supporters  until  the  decisive  night  between  the  9th 
and  loth  of  Thermidor. 

When  sitting  as  President  at  the  trial  of  the  elder  Loizerolles, 
the  old  man  who  was  arraigned  before  the  Tribunal  when  it 
was  his  son  who  had  been  summoned  to  appear,  Coflinhal, 
on  the  8th  of  Thermidor,  calmly  allowed  the  one  to  be  con- 
demned for  the  other.  He  washed  his  hands  of  the  matter. 
Some  months  later,  Fouquier-Tinville  could  justly  say : 
"  That  omission  and  that  crime,  if  they  really  exist,  are 
personal  to  Coffinhal  and  to  the  registrar's  clerk  who  had 
charge  of  the  case."  It  was  Coffinhal  who,  revising  and 
correcting  the  list  of  accused  in  the  "  batch  "  ^  among  which 
the  poets  Roucher  and  Andre  Chenier  appeared  on  the  7th 
of  Thermidor,  added  these  words  in  the  margin  facing  the 

*  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  63. 
'  Roland  had  been  Minister  of  the  Interior. — Tr. 
'■'  Fournee,  the  term  generally  applied  to  a  number  of  prisoners 
tried  and  executed  together. — Tr. 


xiv  INTRODUCTION 

name  of  Louis  Sers,  "  captain  of  infantry  in  command  at 
Chambarnagot."  Chambarnagot  for  Chandernagor  1^  Some 
important  depositions  at  Fouquier-Tinville's  trial  seem  to 
attribute  to  Coffinhal,  "  that  brutality  which  was  natural  to 
him,"  the  execution  of  women  who  were  with  child. ^ 

As  for  the  motley  troop  of  jurors,  each  of  them  had  his 
proper  share,  his  terrible  share,  in  the  hecatombs  of  Prairial 
and  of  Messidor.  What  about  their  consciences  ?  Fouquier- 
Tinville  liked  to  style  some  of  them,  "  my  solid  men."  These 
solid  men  had  not,  on  the  whole,  been  more  criminal  than 
the  others.  They  liked  to  utter  big  words  which,  for 
the  most  part,  they  did  not  understand — liberty,  equality, 
fraternity,  unity,  indivisibility,  or  death.  They  were 
proud  and  happy  to  speak  and  write  these  words,  to 
see  them  printed  on  fine  engraved  paper.  They  were 
pla3ang  an  overwhelming  part,  and  thought  it  agreeable 
and  right  to  be  paid  eighteen  livres  a  day  for  playing  that 
part.  Several  among  them  were  both  members  of  the  Popular 
Commissions  and  jurors  of  the  Tribunal  of  the  Terror. 

But  they  themselves  experienced  the  terror  they  inspired. 
Veritable  tyrants,  each  in  his  own  Section,  in  his  own 
Commission,  in  his  own  street,  at  the  Tribunal  they  feared 
being  denounced  by  men  more  tyrannous  than  themselves, 
and  this  is  why  they  became  ferocious  and  implacable. 
They  played  the  part  of  informers  from  fear  of  being  accused 
in  that  same  part.  For  some  of  them,  it  was  enough  to  see 
the  prisoners  in  order  to  decide  on  their  verdicts.  The  mere 
inspection  of  a  face  determined  them  to  vote  for  death. 
One  of  them  said  :  "  Were  I  the  Public  Prosecutor,  I  would 
have  the  condemned  bled  before  their  execution  so  as  to 
weaken  their  courageous  bearing."  Another  publicly  boasted 
of  "  never  having  voted  except  for  death  when  it  was  a  case 
of  trying  priests  or  nobles,  for  they  were  all  food  for  the 
guillotine. "3  Another  having  asked  permission  to  address  the 

1  Archives  Nationales,  W.  431,  No.  969. 
'  Buchez  and  Roux,  XXXV.,  p.  3. 

•■»  Aubrv,  the  tailor.  Archives  Nationales,  VV.  500,  3rd  dossier, 
p.  58. 


INTRODUCTION  xv 

court,  said :  ''Is  it  not  enough  to  show  you  are  an  aristocrat, 
that  you  have  served  a  noble  ?  "  ^  This  man  said  to  his 
colleagues,  just  after  they  rose  from  a  sitting  :  "  We  have 
only  taken  two  hours  and  a  half  this  time,  because  we  had 
only  to  refer  to  the  letter  that  was  beside  the  name."  An- 
other stated  that  "  when  there  was  no  crime,  it  was  necessary 
to  imagine  one."  Some  of  them  could  neither  read  nor 
wTite.  Others,  on  the  contrary,  men  of  letters  or  of  fashion, 
or  artists,  voted  for  death  with  a  sort  of  bored  carelessness, 
a  mocking  air — and  to  put  an  end  to  the  matter. 

It  ought  to  be  said  that  nothing  is  less  just  than  to  attri- 
bute entire  responsibilit}'^  to  Fouquier-Tinville  for  the 
judicial  crimes  committed  by  the  Tribunal  established  on 
March  lo,  1793,  an  exceptional,  "  provisional  "  Tribunal,  a 
sort  of  "  military  justice  applied  by  civil  judges."  It  was 
not  he  who  cross-examined  ;  it  was  not  he  who  voted  for 
death.     He  was  neither  judge  nor  juror.- 

A  servant  of  the  law,  he  took  care  to  keep  within  the  bounds 
of  the  law.  What  he  seemed  essentially  to  desire, ' '  entrusted 
as  he  was  for  eighteen  months  with  the  painful  duty  of  seeking 
out  crime  and  prosecuting  it,"  was  to  discover  the  guilty  ; 
and  that  because  his  two  formidable  patrons,  the  Committee 
of  Pubhc  Safety  and  the  Committee  of  General  Security, 
exacted  it.  The  men  who  composed  those  Committees 
made  him  "  walk  "  as  they  wanted.  He  carried  out  their 
orders  exactly,  and  in  particular  the  orders  of  the  most  violent 
and  most  sinister  among  them,  Vadier,  VouUand,  and  Amar.* 

At  the  Committee  meetings,  to  which  he  went  every 
evening,  and  where  he  often  remained  until  an  advanced 
hour  of  the  night,  he  waited  for  the  lists  of  persons  to  be 
charged,  and  he  handed  them  over  to  others.  He  was  exact, 
and  fulfilled  precisely  the  intentions  and  resolutions  of  the  two 

1  This  juror  was  Didier.   Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd,  dossier 
p.  58. 

'  He  said  so  in  reply  to  Cambon  at  his  cross-examination  on  the  Qtii 
of  Germinal  in  the  year  III.     (Buchez  and  Roux  XXXIV.,  p.  329.) 

*  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  46.  The  witness 
Advenier  saw  VouUand,  Vadier,  and  Amar  go  fairly  often  to 
Foiiquier's  room  and  lock  themselves  in  with  him  "carefully." 


xvi  INTRODUCTION 

Committees.  He  remembered  this  when,  torn  from  his 
power,  imprisoned,  and  ready,  in  his  turn,  to  appear  before 
his  judges,  he  wrote,  on  the  iqth  of  Thermidor  :  "  If  it  is 
a  crime  to  have  given  effect  to  the  resolutions  of  the 
Committees  of  Pubhc  Safety  and  of  General  Security,  I 
confess  that  I  am  guilty  ;  I  should  have  been  guilty  if  I  did 
not  execute  them.  What  then  ought  I  to  have  done  ?  " 
In  the  same  manner,  on  the  14th  of  Thermidor,  addressing 
Louis  (of  the  Bas-Rhin)  and  Moyse  Bayle,  he  wrote:  "My 
defence  is  limited  to  a  recital  of  the  events  that  took  place 
between  the  Committees  and  myself.  ...  Is  there  a 
more  frightful  position  than  mine,  after  having  spent  days 
and  nights  in  the  public  service  ?  "  He  wrote  in  one  of  the 
memorials  for  his  defence :  "  No  appeals  of  any  sort  whatever 
could  have  stopped  me  ;  the  execution  of  the  laws  that 
emanated  from  the  Convention,  justice,  and  humanity — 
these  have  been  my  rule  of  conduct."  He  also  wrote  this  to 
Merlin  (of  Douai) :  "It  is  a  slanderous  wound  which  time 
will  heal.  I  repeat  it.  My  crime  is  that  I  have  been  the 
instrument  of  too  severe  laws,  and  that  it  was  not  in  my 
power  not  to  execute  them  ;  hence  hatred  and  resentment." 

He  is  the  "  executor  of  the  laws."  He  is  the  axe  and 
rods  ;  he  is  the  Revolutionary  bludgeon.  The  laws  often 
change.  A  struggle  for  power,  an  uninterrupted  pitiless 
struggle,  was  entered  upon  by  political  parties.  The  con- 
queror slew  the  conquered,  and  was  himself  then  conquered 
and  killed.  It  was  the  business  of  the  Revolutionary 
Tribunal  and  its  Public  Prosecutor  to  perform  this  task. 

It  was  thus  that  Fouquier-Tinville  drew  up  in  succession 
indictments  against  Marie  Antoinette,  the  Girondins, 
Olympe  de  Gouges,  Madame  du  Barry,  Hebert  and  the 
Hebertists,  Danton  and  the  Dantonists,  the  alleged  con- 
spiracy in  the  prisons,  etc.,  etc.,  until  the  day  when  he 
saw  himself  obliged  to  plead  in  court  against  his  friends, 
Lescot-Fleuriot  and  others. 

The  study  of  the  part  played  by  Fouquier-Tinville  will 
be  the  purpose  of  the  first  part  of  this  book.  We  have 
entitled  it  "  The  Public  Prosecutor."     The  trials  have  been 


INTRODUCTION  xvii 

studied  by  the  historians  of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal, 
MM.  Campardon,  Wallon,  and  Lenotre,  and  we  do  not  flatter 
ourselves  that  this  book  contains  anything  new  in  this  respect. 
But  it  seemed  to  us  useful  and  interesting  to  undertake  it 
for  the  better  understanding  of  the  second  part  of  the  book, 
entitled  "  The  Prisoner."  In  this  latter  portion  we  have 
applied  ourselves  to  a  minute  re-examination  of  Fouquier- 
Tinville's  trial. 

It  is  by  making  this  slow  and  minute  re-examination  that 
we  best  understand  the  sort  of  man  this  tragic  Fouquier- 
Tinville  was.  In  so  far  as  he  was  Pubhc  Prosecutor,  he 
appears  to  us  clearly  as  a  pubhc  official,  bent  on  keeping  his 
place  and  the  handsome  salary  it  represented,  at  the  price  of 
every  form  of  servility,  even  the  basest,  most  criminal,  and 
most  dishonourable.  Ordered  to  be  placed  on  trial  by 
the  National  Convention  some  moments  after  having  been 
nominated  in  the  same  Assembly  as  Public  Prosecutor  for 
a  fresh  period,  Fouquier-Tinville,  a  prisoner,  fallen,  hemmed 
in,  deserted,  scoffed  at,  defended  himself  with  such  argu- 
mentative vigour,  such  presence  of  mind,  in  a  word,  such 
talent  ;  he  demonstrated  with  such  skill  that  he  was  the 
scapegoat  for  others  whose  exact  and  untiring  agent  he 
had  been  ;  he  explained  so  completely  the  wheels  of  the 
blood-stained  machine  of  which  he  himself  had  been  one 
of  the  wheels  that  moved  most  easily ;  he  challenged  the 
evidence  so  audaciously  and  coolly,  especially  that  of  his 
mortal  enemies,  the  clerks  in  the  registry,  that,  in  spite  of  his 
horrible  activity,  his  case  became  curious  and  extremely 
interesting.  It  was  that  of  a  former  procurator,  a  former 
advocate,  firmly  bound  to  procedure,  a  former  lawyer 
whose  brain  had  been  misshapen  and  his  reason  led  astray 
through  the  abuse  of  chicanery,  and  who,  needy  and  the 
father  of  a  family,  seeking  a  situation,  fell  into  the  midst  of 
the  Revolution,  was  taken  seriously,  took  himself  seriously, 
and  into  whose  hands,  companions,  as  unconscious  as  he  of 
the  responsibility  of  their  acts,  placed  the  machine  for 
judging  others.  The  reader  will  see,  in  the  first  part  of  this 
study,  what  effect  such  a  machine  can  produce,  and  what 

B 


xviii  INTRODUCTION 

in  such  hands  it  did  produce  both  before  and  after  the  22nd 
of  Prairial. 

And  now,  let  us  be  pardoned  if,  in  writing  the  history  "  of 
those  rigorous  times  " — to  use  the  words  of  a  contemporary, 
the  poet  Vigee — we  have  not  thought  it  our  duty  to  give 
details  of  what  befell  the  family  of  him  who  was  guillotined 
in  the  month  of  Floreal.  His  family  is  not  responsible  for 
his  judicial  crimes.  Under  what  pretext  and  by  what  right 
should  we  question,  in  their  eternal  peace,  the  piteous  and 
innocent  ashes  of  those  whom  he  loved  and  who  loved  him  ? 
As  Pubhc  Prosecutor  of  the  Terror,  Antoine  Quentin  Fou- 
quier-Tinville  is  on  trial  at  the  bar  of  History.  It  is  on  this 
ground  that  he  interests  us,  and  on  this  ground  that  we  mean 
to  study  him,  not  without  having  always  in  mind  the  cynical 
saying  of  Carrier,  the  pro-consul  of  Nantes,  when  in  his  turn 
brought  to  trial,  he  exclaimed :  ' '  Everything  here  is  guilty, 
down  to  the  President's  bell !  " 

A.  D. 


CONTENTS 

PART   I 

CHAPTER    I 

fouquier-tinville's  beginnings 


?AGE 


The  GDmmune  against  the  Legislative  Assembly — Robe- 
spierre's speech — Required,  "  a  court  of  popular  justice  " 
— The  Tribunal  of  August  17th,  1792 — Fouquier-Tinville. 
third  director  of  the  jury  d' accusation — Fouquier's  origins 
— His  portrait — His  letter  to  Camille  Desmoulins — The 
tribunal  of  August  17th  suppressed — Fouquier  ap- 
pointed deputy  to  the  Public  Prosecutor  of  the  Criminal 
Tribunal  of  the  Department  of  Paris — March  loth,  1793 
— Serious  reverses  of  the  French  armies — Danton's 
speech — "  Let  us  be  terrible  in  order  to  prevent  the 
people  from  being  terrible  " — Creation  of  the  Tribunal  of 
the  Terror — Fouquier-Tinville  made  Public  Prosecutor   .         29 

CHAPTER    n 

"  THE    DICTATORSHIP   OF   JUSTICE  " 

Powers  of  the  Public  Prosecutor — The  writs  of  indictment — 
Fouquier  is  pitiless  towards  those  who  are  drunk  or 
mad — Growth  of  the  work  of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal 
— It  is  reinforced  by  the  Convention — On  September  5th, 
1793,  the  Sections  come  to  demand  that  terror  be  made 
the  order  of  the  day — The  suspects — The  strength  of 
the  revolutionary  government  is  in  "  virtue "  and 
"  terror  " — The  people  are  hungry — Trial  of  Hubert, 
Ronsin,  and  others — Danton's  trial — Part  played  by 
Fouquier-Tinville — His  letter  to  the  Committee  of 
Public  Safety — Saint-Just's  attitude — The  arguments 
ended  without  having  been  begun — Fouquier  and  Madame 
de  Lavergne's  indictment — A  mysterious  affair — Chau- 
mette's  trial  and  the  first  idea  of  the  Conspiracy  in  the 
Prisons — Fouquier  and  his  correspondence  .  .         39 

xix 


XX  CONTENTS 


CHAPTER    III 

FOUQUIER-TINVILLE  AND  THE  CONSPIRACIES  IN  THE  PRISONS 

PAOB 

The  attempt  on  Collot-d'Herbois — ^The  Law  of  the  22nd  of 
Prairial — The  "  batches  "  of  Prairial — Fouquier's  task 
becomes  more  complicated — How  the  writs  of  indict- 
ment are  drawn  up — The  sessions  of  the  Tribunal — The 
"  red  shirts  " — The  spies — The  conspiracies  in  the  prisons 
— Summary  of  the  Public  Prosecutor's  work,  and  judg- 
ment passed  on  that  work    .....         68 

CHAPTER    IV 

FOUQUIER-TINVILLE    AND    THE     NINTH     OF    THERMIDOR 

The  sessions  of  the  Tribunal  in  the  Hall  of  Equality — ^The 
amalgams — No  material  evidence — The  paralytic  Durand 
Puy  de  Verine — The  arrest  of  President  Dumas — 
Fouquier-Tinville's  attitude — The  departure  of  the  six 
carts — Fouquier  goes  to  dine  with  Vergnhes — "I  cannot 
stop  the  course  of  justice  " — The  dinner  at  Vergnhes's — 
New  grounds  for  uneasiness — The  rising — Fouquier  goes 
back  to  the  Palace — He  sends  for  information  about 
what  is  happening — "  I  remain  at  my  post  " — The 
evening  in  the  refreshment  room — Fouquier  leaves  for 
the  Committee  of    Public  Safety   ....        104 

CHAPTER    V 

THE     REACTION    OF    THERMIDOR    AND     FOUQUIER-TINVILLE'S 

ARREST 

The  loth  of  Thermidor  at  the  Tribunal — Fouquier  pleads 
against  Robespierre,  Couthon,  Lavalette,  Hanriot, 
Dumas,  Saint-Just,  Payan,  Bernard,  Gobeau,  Gency  and 
Vivier — He  leaves  the  session  so  as  not  to  plead  against 
his  friend  Lescot-Fleuriot,  the  Mayor  of  Paris — The  out- 
lawry of  the  loth  of  Thermidor — The  outlawry  of  the  nth 
— The  Session  of  the  14th  of  Thermidor  at  the  Conven- 
tion— "All  Paris  asks  you  for  the  execution  of  Fouquier- 
Tinville  " — Fouquier's  arrest — Fouqviier  at  the  Con- 
ciergerie — Reflections  during  a  first  night  in  prison — 
First  "  Defensive  Memorial  " — Fouquier  says  he  is  inno- 
cent and  a  victim — He  invokes  humanity  and  justice  in 
his  favour        .  .  .  .  .  .  .119 


CONTENTS  xxi 


PART    II 


CHAPTER    VT 

FOUQUIER-TINVILLE   PREPARES   HIS   DEFENCE 


PAGC 


Second  memorial  for  the  defence — The  affair  of  the  Strasburg 
patriots — Fouquier  clears  himself — Re-organisation  of 
the  Revolutionary  Tribunal — The  Tribunal  of  the  23rd  of 
Thermidor — Fouquier  is  heard  at  the  bar  of  the  Conven- 
tion— On  the  12th  of  Fructidor  Lecointre  (of  Versailles) 
raises  Fouquier's  case — A  stormy  session — Fouquier  pro- 
tests against  certain  allegations — Errors  of  journalists — 
Fouquier  asks  to  be  heard  again — He  learns  of  the 
acquittal  of  the  ninety-four  inhabitants  of  Nantes  who 
owe  him  their  lives  .  .  .  .  .  .139 

CHAPTER    VII 

FOUQUIER-TINVILLE'S     first     trial  :       THE     INQUIRY 
(VENDEMIAIRE  AND  BRUMAIRE  OF  THE  YEAR  ll) 

Fouquier-Tinville's  letters  to  his  wife — He  has  but  to  wait 
until  his  fate  is  decided — His  anxiety  is  lest  he  should  be 
"  sacrificed  and  not  judged  " — Why  without  systemati- 
cally disregarding  the  evidence  of  the  Parliamentary  His- 
tory and  that  of  Fouquier-Tinville's  Printed  Trial,  we 
desire  to  have  special  recourse  to  the  manuscript  docu- 
ments relating  to  the  inquiry — Beginning  of  that  inquiry        156 

CHAPTER    VIII 

FOUQUIER-TINVILLE'S  FIRST  TRIAL  :  CONTINUATION  AND 
END  OF  THE  INQUIRY.  (VENDEMIAIRE  AND  BRUMAIRE 
OF  THE   YEAR  III) 

Dejjositions  concerning  Fouquier  and  the  prisoners'  claims  in 
regard  to  their  money — "  Give  me  the  list  of  these  beg- 
gars. I  will  make  them  pass  through  it  to-morrow  " — 
"  Come,  fellows,  things  must  move  " — Fouquier  does  not 
wish  that  defenders  of  the  country  who  are  only  guilty  of 
foolish  actions  should  be  put  to  death — Fouquier  would 
have  saved  some  counter-revolutionary  ex-nobles  from 
execution — Comte  de  Fleury's  letter — At  Danton's  trial 


xxii  CONTENTS 

PAOE 

Fouquier  ought  not  to  have  made  himself  the  accuser 
of  the  Dantonists  and  imputed  to  them  false  and  calum- 
nious facts — "I  want  to  induce  the  Tribunal  to  do  without 
witnesses  " — Fouquier's  terrible  violence — "  He  was,  so 
to  speak,  unapproachable  " — The  affair  of  Darmaing  and 
Vadier — The  case  of  Freteau — "  Ready  for  delivery  " — 
Madame  Fouquier-Tinville's  efforts  on  her  husband's 
behalf  ........        177 

CHAPTER    IX 

FOUQUIER-TINVILLE  AFFIRMS  HIS  INNOCENCE  AND  HIS 
HUMANITY.  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  LEBLOIS  ARGUES 
AGAINST  HIM 

Fouquier's  first  examination  (ist  of  Frimaire  of  the  year  III., 
November  21,  1794) — His  system  of  defence — He  is  not 
responsible  for  the  groupings,  for  the  putting  of  masses  of 
accused  persons  on  trial  together,  for  the  substitution  of 
one  accused  person  for  another— He  has  not  prepared  and 
arranged  for  the  guillotine,  the  carts,  and  the  sentences 
beforehand — Blank  sentences  are  not  his  doing — He  has 
not  made  a  selection  of  the  jurors — He  has  not  influenced 
the  witnesses — He  has  not  kept  back  documents  for  the 
defence — The  answer  of  Public  Prosecutor  Leblois  to 
these  denials  of  Fouquier — He  charges  him  with  having 
betrayed  his  ofhce,  with  having  conspired  against  the 
State  and  against  the  people,  and  with  having  promoted 
the  re-establishment  of  royalty       ....        195 

CHAPTER    X 

FOUQUIER-TINVILLE'S  SECOND  TRIAL  :  THE  INQUIRY  BY  THE 
TRIBUNAL  ESTABLISHED  ON  THE  EIGHTH  OF  NIVOSE  IN 
THE  YEAR  III 

The  Tribunal  of  the  8th  of  Nivose  in  the  year  III. — First  session 
— Aumont's  speech — That  of  President  Agier — ^The 
preliminary  investigation  for  Fouquier's  trial  begins 
again  on  a  wider  basis  and  with  new  means  of  informa- 
tion— Depositions- — Madame  Comulier,  who  had  miracu- 
lously escaped  the  guillotine — Long  depositions  of  the 
Morisans,  the  attendants  in  the  refreshment-room  of  the 
Tribunal — What  the  hearings  of  the  Tribunal  were  like 
after  the  22  nd  of  Prairial    .  .  ,  .  .216 


CONTENTS  xxiii 


CHAPTER    XI 

FOUQUIER-TINVILLE'S     second     trial  :      CONTINUATION     OF 

THE   INQUIRY 

PAOB 

Depositions  of  LoizeroUes  the  younger,  whose  father  was 
guillotined  through  an  error — The  defenders  became 
useless  after  the  22nd  of  Prairial — ^Vadier  and  Amar  in 
Fouquier's  room — Manini,  spy  and  man  of  letters — The 
spy  Beausire,  husband  of  the  woman  Oliva — ^The  batches 
of  the  Tribunal — "  The  Tribunal  was  not  a  tribunal  of 
morality  and  justice  but  a  political  tribunal,  established 
to  judge  in  accordance  with  pronounced  public  opinion  " 
— "  Strangling  the  proceedings  " — Guy  Marie  Sallier, 
whose  father  was  guillotined  through  an  error — Long 
depositions  of  Paris,  called  Fabricius,  a  friend  of  Danton, 
and  registrar  of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal  .  ,       236 

CHAPTER    Xn 

FOUQUIER-TINVILLE'S  second  TRIAL  :    END  OF  THE  INQUIRY : 
INDICTMENT  FORMULATED   BY  JUDICIS 

Depositions  regarding  the  execution  of  the  Marquise  de 
Feuquieres — Had  Fouquier  given  orders  that  the  child- 
ren at  the  Conciergerie  should  want  for  nothing  ? — 
Evidence  of  Robert  Wolff,  clerk  to  the  registrar — Fou- 
quier's outbursts  and  violence — It  was  dangerous  under 
the  Terror  to  have  an  income  of  300,000  livres.  Fou- 
quier's part  in  Danton's  case,  in  that  of  Leonard  Bourdon, 
in  the  alleged  conspiracies  in  the  prisons — His  relations 
with  certain  jurors — The  indictment  formulated  by 
Judicis  .......       257 

CHAPTER    Xni 

THE  FINAL  EXAMINATION  OF  FOUQUIER.      THE  PROCEEDINGS 
IN   COURT.      VERDICT  AND   DEATH        .  .  .        275 

CHAPTER    XIV 

CONCLUSION  .......        304 

INDEX  ........        311 


ILLUSTRATIONS 


Antoine     Quentin     Fouquier-Tinville     {Photo- 
gravure)     Frontispiece 

TO    FACE    PAOa 

Madame  Roland xii 

Peter  Caspar  Chaumette  .....  58 

John  May  Roland  de  la  Platiere     ...  60 

The  Night  of  the  Ninth  of  Thermidor,  in  the 

Year  II 106 

The  Arrest  of  Robespierre       ....  116 

Saint-Just  ........  120 

Antoine  Quentin  Fouquier-Tinville   .         .         .  140 

Madame  Tallien         ......  148 

Charlotte  Corday      ......  180 

Danton 184 

The  Guillotine  .......  196 

Camille  Desmoulins  ......  254 

The  Trial  of  Fouquier-Tinville        .         .         .  282 

Bertrand  Barere       ......  296 


PART    I 


THE   PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR 
OF  THE   TERROR 

CHAPTER   I 

fouquier-tinville's   beginnings 

ON  August  14,  1792,  four  days  after  the  fall  of  the 
French  Monarchy  and  the  pillage  of  the  Tuileries, 
a  decree  of  the  National  Legislative  Assembly 
ordered  that  the  forty-eight  Sections  of  Paris  should 
appoint  a  jury  d' accusation  and  a  jury  de  jugement^  to  take 
cognisance  of  the  crimes  committed  on  August  10  against 
the  people.  The  Commune  did  not  accept  this  decision 
of  the  Legislative  Assembly.  It  wished  to  have  a  Court 
of  Popular  Justice. 

On  the  evening  of  the  15th,  it  sent  a  deputation  to  the 
Assembly.  Maximilien  Robespierre  spoke  on  its  behalf. 
He  said  that  public  tranquillity  and,  above  all,  liberty 
depended  on  the  punishment  of  the  guilty.  The  people's 
vengeance  had  not  yet  been  satisfied.  The  men  who  had 
hidden  themselves  under  the  mask  of  patriotism,  the  men 
who  had  affected  to  speak  the  language  of  the  laws  in 
order  to  overthrow  the  laws,  "  that  Lafayette  who  was  not 
in  Paris,  but  who  could  be  there,"  were  they  to  escape  the 
national  vengeance  ?  The  guilty  must  be  judged,  finally 
and  in  the  last  resort,  by  commissioners  chosen  in  each  of 
the  forty-eight  Sections  of  the  city.^ 

'  The  jury  d' accusation  corresponded  in  some  respects  to  our 
grand  jury  ;  but  its  procedure  was  not  public.  It  cross-examined 
prisoners,  and  prepared  the  case  for  trial  before  the  jury  de  jugement. 
— Tr. 

•  Momteur  for  August  18,  1792. 

29 


30  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

The  Assembly  endeavoured  to  oppose  this.  The  Com- 
mune insisted,  even  threatened.  On  Friday,  the  17th,  at 
ten  o'clock  in  the  morning,  an  orator  whom  it  had  sent  to 
the  Feuillants  proclaimed  that  a  rising  would  take  place  at 
midnight.  The  tocsin  would  be  sounded,  and  drums  would 
beat  to  arms.     The  people  were  weary  of  not  being  avenged. 

The  Commune  gained  the  day.  The  Assembly  capitu- 
lated. The  decree  was  passed.  The  extraordinary  criminal 
tribunal  was  about  to  set  to  work.  It  was  to  judge  the 
crimes  committed  on  the  day  of  August  10,  and  "  other 
crimes  relative  to  it."  It  was  to  be  composed  of  seven 
directors  of  the  jury,  who  were  to  investigate  and  arrange 
its  business  ;  of  two  presidents  and  six  judges  ;  of  two  com- 
missioners and  two  prosecutors  ;  of  four  registrars  and  eight 
registrars'  clerks ;  of  ninety-six  members  of  the  jury 
d' accusation  and  ninety-six  members  of  the  jury  de  jugement. 

The  judges  and  the  members  of  the  jury  of  this  tribunal 
were  appointed  during  the  night  between  the  17th  and  the 
i8th  of  August.  Robespierre  was  at  the  head  of  the  Ust/ 
and  Cofhnhal  was  one  of  the  judges.  On  August  25  the 
electors,  in  thirty-two  sections,  chose  "  Monsieur  Fouquier- 
Tinville  "  as  one  of  the  directors  of  the  jury  d' accusation. 

Antoine  Quentin  Fouquier  was  then  forty-six  years  of 
age.  He  was  born  at  Herouel,  near  Saint-Quentin,  on 
June  10,  1746.  "  His  father,"  M.  Campardon writes,  "was 
a  rich  agriculturalist ^  of  the  district,  who  gave  him  so  good 
an  education  that,  at  the  period  in  his  life  when  his  occupa- 
tions least  permitted  him  to  think  of  Latin,  he  still  liked  to 
remember  it ;  for  when  he  was  Public  Prosecutor  of  the  Revo- 
lutionary Tribunal,  he  listened  with  pleasure  to  quotations 
from  the  ancient  authors  he  had  studied  in  his  youth.     He 

*  Robespierre  refused  this  post,  as  the  performance  of  its  duties 
were  incompatible  with  those  of  a  representative  of  the  Commune 
of  Paris.  As  he  explains  in  a  letter,  he  could  not  be  the  judge  of 
those  whose  opponent  he  had  been.      {Momteuv  for  August  28,  1792.) 

*  His  name  was  Eloy  Fouquier,  and  he  died  in  1759,  as  is  mentioned 
in  the  Precis  pour  le  Comte  Felix  de  Pardieu  et  demoiselle  Lelong 
de  Vadancort,  son  epouse,  intimes,  contre  la  dame  veuve  Fouquier 
d'Etinville  appellante,  preserved  in  the  National  Archives, 


FOUQUIER-TINVILLE'S   BEGINNINGS  31 

was  destined  by  his  family  for  the  bar ;  accordingly,  when  his 
studies  were  completed,  he  went  to  Paris  and  entered  a  pro- 
curator's office  ;  he  then  signed  himself  Fouquier  de  Tinville, 
and  had  himself  called  by  that  name.  His  three  brothers 
acted  in  the  same  way,  and  also  added  territorial  titles  to 
their  patronymics ;  one,  Pierre  Eloi  Fouquier,  became 
Fouquier  d'Herouel ;  another,  Charles  Frangois  Fouquier, 
called  himself  Fouquier  de  Vauville.  Both  were  equerries 
and  agents  of  the  Royal  Household.  The  third,  Quentin 
Fouquier,  who  was  only  an  advocate  in  the  Parlement, 
none  the  less  signed  himself  Fouquier  de  Forest.  The  future 
Pubhc  Prosecutor  of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal  was 
engaged,  up  to  the  end  of  the  year  1773,  in  obtaining,  through 
the  medium  of  the  procurators'  offices  in  the  capital,  the 
practical  knowledge  which  was  indispensable  if  he  were  to 
perform  correctly  the  duties  of  the  office  he  desired  to 
purchase.  On  January  21,  1774,  the  Chamber  of  Procura- 
tors of  the  Chatelet  of  Paris  (now  the  solicitors  of  the  lower 
court)  granted  him  an  admittatur."  ^  Some  days  later  he 
received  his  provisional  letters  of  appointment. 

Those  letters,  dated  January  25,  gave  and  conceded  to 
him  the  office  of  candidate  procurator  at  the  Chatelet  of 
Paris,  which  had  been  held  and  exercised  by  Jean  Louis 
Cornillier.  The  customary  inquiry  had  been  favourable. 
He  was  acknowledged  to  be  "  of  good  life,  morals,  and  con- 
versation, and  of  the  Catholic,  Apostohc,  and  Roman 
religion."  He  took  the  oath,  and  was  put  into  possession  of 
his  offices.  Rue  du  Foin-Saint-Jacques,  in  the  College  of 
Maitre  Ger\^ais,  parish  of  Saint-Severin,  Sorbonne  district. 
Two  years  later,  he  went  to  live  in  the  Rue  Pavee-Saint- 
Sauveur,  "  facing  the  Rue  Frangaise."  We  find  him  in- 
stalled there  on  January  23,  1776.  In  October,  1778,  he  was 
Hving  in  the  Rue  Bourbon- Villeneuve,  in  a  fine  house,  "  by 
the  side  of  the  great  balcony,  near  the  corner  of  the  Rue 
Saint-Phihppe." 

Maitre  Fouquier  de  Tinville's  practice  was  a  good  one, 

'  Campardon  :    Le  Tribunal  Revolutionnaire  de  Paris.      Tome  I.- 
p.  13  (Plon  1866). 


32  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

and  included  a  large  number  of  clients,  drawn  chiefly  from 
the  lower  middle-classes — shopkeepers,  artisans  and  traders. 
Some  agriculturalists,  farmers  and  wine-growers  from  the 
neighbourhood  of  Paris,  from  Charonne,  Suresnes,  VilUers- 
le-Bel,  and  elsewhere,  also  came  to  entrust  their  cases  to 
him  ;  as  did  some  religious  establishments,  such  as  the 
English  Nuns,  established  in  Paris  in  the  Rue  des  Fosses- 
Saint-Victor,  and  the  Nuns  of  Saint-Thomas,  of  the  Order 
of  Saint  Dominic,  in  the  Rue  Neuve-Saint-Augustin. 
Fouquier,  intelligent  and  active,  was  well  suited  for  the 
management  of  affairs  and  for  the  subtleties  of  chicanery. 

He  had  married  his  cousin,  Genevieve  Dorothee  Saugnier, 
on  October  19,  1775,  at  the  parish  church  of  Notre-Dame- 
du-Mont-Saint-Martin,  in  the  diocese  of  Cambrai.  In  the 
following  year  a  son  was  bom — Pierre  Quentin  Fouquier. 
Then  he  had  four  daughters — Genevieve  Louise  Sophie, 
bom  on  January  2,  1778  ;  Emilie  Fran9oise,  born  on  Decem- 
ber 7,  1778  ;  Marie  Adelaide,  born  on  January  19,  1782. 
Three  months  later,  April  24,  1782,  Fouquier's  young  wife 
died,  at  the  age  of  twenty-eight.^ 

Within  less  than  five  months,  Fouquier  married  again. 
His  second  wife  was  Henriette  Gerard  d'Aucourt,  the 
daughter  of  a  colonist  who  had  died  at  San  Domingo.  In 
September,  1783,  he  sold  his  practice.  For  what  reasons 
remains  a  mystery.  It  is  noteworthy  that  "  for  motives  of 
interest  "  Maitre  Bligny,  his  successor,  broke  off  all  relations 
with  him  for  more  than  ten  years,  and  did  not  see  him  again 
until  he  had  become  Public  Prosecutor. - 

At  this  period  he  was  engaged  in  doubtful  affairs,  leading 
a  submerged  existence  in  Paris.  He  no  longer  hved  in  the 
Rue  Bourbon- Villeneuve.  He  frequently  changed  his  dwel- 
ling. In  1785,  he  was  in  the  Faubourg  Saint-Antoine,  after- 
wards in  the  Rue  Vieille-du-Temple  ;  in  1788,  in  the  Rue 

*  All  the  information  given  here  is  taken  from  the  documents 
preserved  among  the  National  Archives.  Those  documents  include 
many  powers  and  discharges  given  by  clients  to  Maitre  Fouquier  de 
Tinville,  procurator  at  the  Chatelet.  They  also  include  baptismal 
and  death  certificates  of  the  children  and  of  Fouquier's  first  wife. 

^  See  later  p.  232. 


A   TRUE   DESPOT  33 

Saint-Croix  de  la  Bretonnerie  ;  in  1789,  in  the  Rue  Barre- 
du-Bec  (which  began  at  the  Rue  de  la  Verrerie,  and  ended 
at  the  Rue  Saint-Merri  and  the  Rue  Saint-Croix  de  la 
Bretonnerie)  ;  in  179 1,  in  the  Rue  des  Chartres  and  the 
Rue  des  Enfants  Rouges  ;  in  1792,  at  Number  356,  Rue 
Saint-Honore. 

On  January  9,  1790,  a  son  was  born  to  his  second  wife  ; 
in  1792,  she  had  twins.  One  of  his  daughters,  Marie  Ade- 
laide, having  died  on  May  i,  1786,  Fouquier  had,  at  this 
period,  seven  children.  ^ 

Antoine  Quentin  Fouquier  was  a  robust  and  strapping 
Picard,  with  large  and  strongly  moulded  neck  and  shoulders. 
His  hair  was  dark  and  smooth,  his  forehead  high,  his  face 
full  and  pitted  with  smallpox.  He  had  a  Roman  nose  and 
extremely  arched  and  elevated  eyebrows.  His  glance  was 
keen,  searching,  disquieting,  and  very  restless.  Contem- 
poraries, who  witnessed  his  trial,  said  that  he  was  moody, 
but  a  good  fellow.  Many  agreed  in  declaring  that  he  was 
of  a  terribly  violent  and  passionate,  even  brutal,  character, 
a  true  "  despot." 

How  did  this  ex-procurator,  who  had  become  a  vague 
"  man  of  the  law,"  and  fallen  into  a  precarious  position, 
suddenly  find  a  situation  in  the  magistracy  and  become 
one  of  the  directors  of  the  jury  d' accusation  established  by 
the  law  of  August  17,  1792  ?  The  thing  has  been  related 
by  M.  Campardon  with  the  aid  of  M.  Edouard  Fleury's 
Camille  DesmoiiUns  and  the  papers  relating  to  the  tribunal 
of  August  17  preserved  among  the  Archives. 

Fouquier  was  a  compatriot  and  even  a  distant  relative  of 
Camille  Desmouhns.     On  August  20,  1792,  he  wrote  to  him  : 

"  Until  the  ever  memorable  day  of  the  tenth  of  this  month, 
my  dear  relative,  the  title  of  patriot  has  been  not  only  a 
cause  of  exclusion  from  every  ofhce,  but  even  a  ground  for 
persecution  ;  you  yourself  are  an  example  of  this.  The 
time  has  come  at  last,  we  may  hope,  when  true  patriotism 
must  conquer.     .     .     .     My  patriotism  is  known  to  you, 

1  See  Lenotre  :  Le  Tribunal  RSvoluiionnaire  (Paris  :  Perrin,  1908). 
.     c 


is  wril  is  rrv  cipiadtY  ~  nutters^    I  fiilter 

uaTssr-i  that  >vt:  tr-:-  ^r  c^cvi  .           tiKTcede  for  ne  miA 

tb?3i^                    ?t^.>?-  :  me  a  sUbndtkHi 

e^tiis  :\r  tlutt  I  Uft 

-V  -  ^     -veMest 

^,..    ^^.^  ^-^v...  ..--  ..„;.-                -:^  cost 

iz>d  5^:^  ^:^T>  -         i-  etc.  etc* 

*'  I                        -  my  dear  re^iire..  viscr  ver.  .      .   i 

•  Rtsr  5                          ;  -        be 


esT-srei.  :^ 


<Lj- 


JrOcSS: 


•     —  c^^  -^  i 


bsd 


?=e     ^.^  ,  5aa^ 


A   LEITER   OF   RESIGNATION  5.5 

o<  affairs.    At  the  beginr.' '        '   :  -        be  W2=     - '     -  -   i 

de:paty  to  the  PnbEc  Pr  ' 

the  Dcpartiiieiit  of  P^'  —e 

Prcxmator  «rf  tiie  G:  ..  -  in:  .  _  tii^ 

post  in  ord^  tliat  ':i  :  retain  -Ji-:  _      -:  the 

PoUic  Pro6e<";""  '. :  n.^  Criinirial  Trfb^msl.  3^  birir:,-  :_  r^ 
suited  to  In  ^;.    Ti.r  T.'.r 

to  the  ProcnrcLtor-Syndic  01  the  Tri':  ^  -  _ .  : : :  - ;,  -  1. : :  r. : :  . : 
SaJnt-Qoentin  : 

"Paris,  this  12th.  ?i'z-:^~r  z---  year  II.  ::  "he 
Repnblic. 

''  Citizen  PT''--:r^-'--=-;-.i:7 

"At  the    .;.;;-:       ;.'  :.    :  :   ;-:i    :;     ny    -_:"- 

crdzens  to  the  y.vrv.  \:  .L.r  \:  -.'.\z  7:.;  mil  tor  ->.r  iii- 
trict  of  Saint-^  -    ;;  ,    ;-        :^l:  I  J::  i  -  -   :: 

director  .:    >.:  "s  torj::  ':  l:  Cmmnai 

Tribtmal  estao-iSjicQ  m  A u-i-ist  17  last ;  ai  isiasi  I  im  :  ~t.'.  r  i 
yooof  this.  Th^  i.-ir;  ::  n^ 'i—^r  y :--  -  i:^  r::  ^  r~r 
to  be  present  at  :hr  :  -  :;-  ::  :lic  Ir:  m-!   _nl    :::iiis 

suppression  I  have  7  .„  __-:^i  ith  th  ■  -  :  :  :  -  :  =11 
the  stiits  in  the  ten  Tribin^'i      77:5  :i7  1  r:T  :  _r:ltr 

than  I  expected,  and  at  n' r  rr. :  —  ^r.:  7rit  I  x^s-^.^  j  :ti  iring  to 
take  np  my  duties,  the  ::.  ;    i;    iiy:.- .rd  ~e  ::  7e 

one  of  the  Public  Prosecators  of  the  7r~ —.al  TiTd  1:11'.  : :  the 
Department  of  Paris.  Thii  t ::::::  r^.  7:  7  I  believed  it  my 
duty  to  accept  both  on  ::::  tr.:  ::  ::5  :r:T  :  — mce  and  as  a 
return  for  the  confidence  si:cv.ti  zie  by  t7_s  cTeai  city,  does 
not  permit  me  to  take  up  the  duties  of  '"i^e  of  the  Tribunal 
of  the  district  of  Saiut-Quentin,  and  7  .  :7is  present  letter 
I  place  my  resignation  in  your  hands.  It  is  not  without  some 
regret  that  I  tender  my  resignation,  beca^ise  it  would  have 
enabled  me  to  live  among  my  felLow-citizens  and  my  family. 
But  circumstances  obhge  me  to  take  the  present  course,  iu  spite 
of  the  ob\-ious  fact  that  in  accepting  this  post  of  Prosecutor 
I  impose  upon  myself  the  most  stringent  duty  and  privation. 
You  win  oblige  me  by  conveving  to  my  colleagues  my  regrets 
at  not  being  able  to  join  them.     Moreover,  mv  successor 


56  THK  rUHLlO  PKOSKCrTl^K  OF  THK  TKKKOK 

will  not  have  CAu^se  to  iv^^n^c  luy  u^c  •  ihe  uioiv  so  that 

as  I  have  not  boen  rtxxiv^xl  aiui  iu^;,v.-v\;.  he  hs^s  a  right  to» 
n\vi\e  the  whoW  ot  the  enioUuuents  by  beuig  himselt" 
iustalUxl  iu  luy  pUce.  K\tu  it  I  havi  not  Kvn  Apjxntitevi  tc* 
the  {x\Nitiv>i\  oi  l>osecutv.>r.  I  shv>uM  still  have  Kvn  obliged 
to  seiui  ii\  my  ttj^jgnatioix.  for  *,^i  Saturday  last  I  was  ap- 
tviute».i  deputy  to  the  IVvuratv^r  oi  the  Commune  of  Pahs, 
atKl  I  am  also  aK^ut  to  send  in  to  the  Munici^xihty  my 
resiguatK>i\  of  that  jx>^. 

'*  V^igitevl^     Foixji'iKR-TlNviiiB." 

On  Sunday.  Mareh  lo.  i>)^^.  the  Natiozial  Convent iotx. 
which,  since  the  i>r\w\in\s;  day.  had  been  v.vcujMevl  with 
dtejcu;s:^r.g  the  crevitioit  oi  a  KeYv>lntioz\ar>-  Tribimal  to  try- 
cases  without  ap^x\xl.  was  aK>ut  to  break  uj\  exhausted, 
when  l\«uv>n  k\i^xxi  into  the  tnbune  and  cned  out :  **  I 
call  u^x>j\  all  good  citirx^ns  not  to  leave  their  places  !  " 

It  was  ""  '  >t  six  in  the  evening.  The  Cozwentit^  k^ 
mainev^.  -s   <  Mued  by  P.uiton's  vv>ice.    It  was  i^ 

exit  ical  -  , . .  «  .._..-  was  hekl  by  t  he  enemy  :  the  French 
artuy  had  been  cv^u^vIUxl  to  raise  the  siege  of  M*x^£richt ; 
in  Parts,  pit^paratiotis  werv  being  made  foe  a  riot. 

'"  Nothing  ts  so  dur.cult/"  cried  IXinton.  "  as  to  denne  a 
jx^tical  c-  but  if  a  man  of  the  peoj^^  receives  instouit 

^xuv.  .t  tor  a  j>ri\'-ate  crime,  if  it  is  dirhcult  to  o\-ertaAe 
a  p  ;\  is  it  not  nece>%>siry  that  extra.    ■      ry 

Uw^.  ..w.xv-i .  tside  the  social  Kxiy.  should  tenuy  ;iie 

rebels  and  ov^-.-.x.  the  ^^uiliv  ? 

■  rhe  safety  of  the  people  ik>w  re\^uiix?s  drastic  u-..,^-„  _- 
1  see  no  middle  course  between  the  ordinar\'  forms  and  a 
n?vv  .jr\-  tribunal.     Hicstorv'  attests  this  truth :    and 

Since  sotne  in  thts  asjjembly  have  dared  to  n;vall  thoeje  blood- 
stained da\^  whxh  every  good  cititeii  has  deploivd,^  I  will 
say.  foe  my  jvurt.  that  if  a  tribunal  had  then  existed,  the 
peo^^e.  who  have  been  re  '  ed  so  often  and  so  cnieily 

for  thosv^  da\Nk  wxxiki  no:  -.,.^i  stained  their  hands  with 
blood :    1  W-!  <.u    A-^d  shall  ha\-e  the  a>^nt  of  aU  who 


"  LET  ENGLAND'S  COMMERCE  BE  RUINED  "  37 

witnessed  those  events,  that  no  human  power  could  check 
the  outbreak  of  national  vc^g^^ance. 

'*  Let  us  profit  by  the  faults  of  our  predecessors.  I>et 
us  do  what  the  Lej^islative  Asvrrnbly  failed  to  do ;  let  us 
rather  than  the  p<^;ople  Ix;  terrible ;  let  us  orj^anis^*  a 
tribunal,  not  a  p;rfect  one,  for  that  is  impos'sible,  but 
the  best  possible,  in  order  t?iat  the  people  may  know  that 
the  sword  of  the  Law  is  suspended  over  the  heads  of  its 
enc-mies.  ...  I  demand,  therefore,  that  the  revo- 
lutionary tribunal  be  organis^ui  before  the  present  sitting 
comes  to  an  end,  that  the  executive  pov/er  in  the  new  organ- 
isation be  entrusted  v/ith  all  the  necessary  powers  of  action 
and  energy.  .  .  .  Accordingly,  I  sum  up  what  I  have 
said  :  this  evening,  the  orga.nisation  of  the  tribunal,  the 
organisation  of  the  executive  power  ;  to-morrow,  a  military 
advance.  By  to-morrow  let  your  commissioners  have 
started  ;  let  all  France  arise,  rush  to  arms,  march  against 
the  enemy  I  Ix-t  Holland  be  invaded ;  let  Belgium  be 
free  ;  let  England's  commerce  be  ruined  ;  let  the  friends  of 
liberty  triumph  over  that  country ;  let  our  arms,  every- 
where victorious,  bring  deliverance  and  happiness  to  the 
people,  and  let  the  world  !>•  avenged  I  "     ^Loud  applause.) 

The  sitting  v/as  adjourned  at  seven  o'clock  in  the  evening, 
after  Danton's  speech,  and  resumed  at  nine  o'clock.  The 
Convention  voted  the  construction  and  organisation  of  an 
extraordinary  Criminal  Tribunal.  It  voted  the  penalties. 
At  five  o'clock  in  the  morning  the  sitting  was  adjourned. 

This  Tribunal,  as  everybody  knows,  was  to  try  cases 
involving  every  countfrr-revolutionary  enterprise,  every 
attempt  against  the  liberty,  equality,  unity,  and  indivisi- 
bility of  the  Republic,  against  the  internal  and  external 
security  of  the  State,  all  plots  tending  to  re-establish  royalty 
or  to  establish  any  authority  hostile  to  the  liberty,  equality, 
and  sovereignty  of  the  peop»le.  It  was  composed  of  a  jury 
and  five  judges.  The  judge  who  was  elected  first  was  to  be 
president.  The  Tribunal  was  to  have  a  Public  Prosecutor 
and  two  deputies,  chosen,  like  the  judges  and  the  jurors, 
by  the  Convention. 


38  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

On  the  13th  the  Convention  appointed  the  members  of 
the  Tribunal.  The  President  was  Jacques-Bernard-Marie 
Montan(§,  special  Heutenant  of  the  Seneschal's  Court  at 
Toulouse,  born  at  Grenade  in  the  Haute-Garonne.  The 
PubUc  Prosecutor,  chosen  by  180  votes,  was  Faure,  his 
deputies,  Fouquier-Tinville  {163  votes),  Donze-Verteuil,  an 
ex-monk,  and  Lescot-Fleuriot,  a  sculptor  (162  votes).  Faure 
resigned.  Fouquier-Tinville  was  appointed  in  his  place  by  a 
decree  of  the  Convention  dated  the  15th,  and  accepted  the 
post  without  hesitation.  He  regarded  it  "  a  duty  "  to  do  so, 
as  he  wTote  on  March  29,  1793,  to  the  Minister  of  Justice.^ 

1  Archives  Nationales,  BB  *  bis  25. 


CHAPTER   II 

"THE   DICTATORSHIP  OF   JUSTICE  "  ^ 

ON  April  5,  1793,  the  Public  Prosecutor  was  invested 
with  the  right  of  causing  the  arrest,  prosecution, 
and  trial  of  all  persons  accused  of  the  crime  of 
conspiracy  or  of  "  national  offences,"  Deputies  and 
generals  excepted.  An  information  lodged  by  the  consti- 
tuted authorities,  or  even  by  private  citizens,  was  sufficient. 
On  his  warrant,  any  individual  was  at  once  arrested, 
prosecuted  and  tried.  The  accused  was  incarcerated  in 
one  of  the  prisons  with  which  Paris  abounded  from  the 
beginning  of  the  year  II. 

To  analyse  the  trials,  great  and  small,  which  occupied  the 
officials  and  the  sessions  of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal  from 
April,  1793,  to  the  end  of  July,  1794,  would  be  to  perform  a 
useless  work.  They  have  been  examined,  and  that  in  a 
definitive  fashion.  What  took  place  is  known.  Moreover, 
our  subject  is  not  the  history  of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal, 
but  a  study  of  Fouquier-Tinville's  responsibility  as  Public 
Prosecutor. 

An  individual  was  arrested  as  a  suspect.  The  official 
report  of  his  arrest  was  drawn  up  at  the  committee  of  sur- 
veillance of  his  Section.  This  document  contained  the  cross- 
examination  he  had  undergone  before  the  members  of  that 
committee.  The  accused  person  was  then  sent,  with  the 
documents  relating  to  him,  before  the  Committee  of  General 
Security,  where  he  was  again  questioned.  Thence  he  was 
despatched  to  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal.  The  documents 
were  sent  by  the  Committee  of  General  Security  to  the 
Public  Prosecutor,  who  examined  them,  made  a  summary  of 
the  facts,  arranged  the  charges,  quoted  the  incriminating 

*  Saint-Just's  phrase. 
39 


40  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

words  or  writings,  noted  the  denials  of  the  accused.  In  a 
word  he  drew  up  his  indictment.  He  took  care  to  indicate 
that  the  accused  person  acted  "  wickedly  and  intentionally  " 
with  a  view  "  to  provoke  the  national  dissolution  and  the 
re-establishment  of  royalty."  In  consequence,  he  demanded 
that  the  assembled  Tribunal  should  grant  him  a  writ  of 
indictment,  that  the  person  of  the  accused  be  seized,  and 
that  he  be  entered  on  the  gaol-book  of  the  house  of  detention 
of  the  Conciergerie,  to  remain  there  as  in  a  house  of  justice. 

At  the  hearing  of  the  case  before  the  Tribunal,  Fouquier- 
Tinville  supported  the  accusation.  If  the  declaration  of  the 
jury  were  negative,  the  accused  was  set  at  liberty,  at  least 
unless  Fouquier  demanded  his  detention  in  prison  as  a 
measure  of  general  security.  (We  shall  see  that  in  this  way 
some  accused  persons,  such  as  Freteau,  were  acquitted  by  the 
jury,  to  be  rearrested  afterwards  by  Fouquier,  again  brought 
before  the  Tribunal,  and  this  time  condemned.)  If  the 
declaration  of  the  jury  were  affirmative,  the  Public  Prosecu- 
tor moved  that  the  law  be  appHed,  which  meant  sending  the 
prisoner  to  the  guillotine. 

It  would  be  wearisome  to  analyse  Fouquier-Tinville's 
writs  of  indictment,  so  monotonous  is  their  style,  marked 
as  it  is  throughout  with  the  revolutionary  phraseology  whose 
continuous  exaggeration  and  terrible  vagueness  we  can 
scarcely  understand  to-day.  The  only  fact  that  stands 
out  from  them  is  that,  during  the  first  period  of  his  magis- 
tracy (from  April,  1793,  to  April,  1794),  Fouquier  drew  up  his 
indictments  conscientiously  enough  and  in  accordance  with 
the  cross-examination  of  the  accused  persons  and  the  docu- 
ments that  had  been  transmitted  to  his  ofhce.  He  showed 
himself,  on  the  whole,  careful  in  observing  the  law,  and  did  not 
go  beyond  the  rights  and  powers  that  it  conferred  upon  him. 
He  did  not  discuss  the  component  parts  of  the  accusation 
that  he  had  in  his  hands.  He  criticised  neither  their  value 
nor  their  origin.  He  did  not  stop  to  weigh  the  for  and 
against.  He  did  not  ask  whether  such  and  such  an  affirma- 
tion, such  and  such  a  denunciation,  deserved  credit  or  not. 
He  admitted  in  its  entirety  the  most  questionable  evidence. 


THE    PLEADING    AGAINST    THE    QUEEN      41 

He  accepted  everything  and  gave  a  summary  of  all.  He 
expounded  and  affirmed.  He  was  the  organ  of  the  law.  He 
adapted  himself  exactly,  with  activity,  zeal,  and  application, 
to  the  designs  and  intentions  of  the  legislators.  His  pleadings 
for  the  prosecution  fell  upon  the  accused  like  the  blows  of  a 
club.  Moreover,  he  struck  without  discrimination  all  those 
who  were  pointed  out  to  him,  whatever  the  social  class  to 
which  they  belonged,  and  whatever  their  position,  their 
origin,  or  their  opinions. 

But  if,  in  the  mass,  Fouquier-Tinville's  indictments  seem 
to  us  tiresome  to  read,  we  must  except  some  upon  which  he 
expended  imagination  and  style.  Such,  for  example,  are 
those  of  Marie  Antoinette  and  Madame  du  Barry.  "  From 
an  examination  made  of  all  the  documents  transmitted  by 
(sic)  the  Pubhc  Prosecutor,"  say  the  pleadings  drawn  up 
by  Fouquier  against  the  Queen,  "it  is  clear  that,  like  the 
Messalinas,  Brunehaut,  Fredegonde  and  Medicis,  who 
were  formerly  described  as  Queens  of  France  and  whose 
eternally  odious  names  will  not  be  effaced  from  the  annals  of 
history,  Marie  Antoinette,  the  widow  of  Louis  Capet,  has 
since  her  residence  in  France  been  the  scourge  and  blood- 
sucker of  the  French  people  ;  that  she  had  political  relations 
with  the  man  described  as  the  King  of  Bohemia  and  of 
Hungary  even  before  the  happy  revolution  that  has  given 
back  their  sovereignty  to  the  French  people  ;  that  those 
relations  were  contrary  to  the  interests  of  France.     .     .     ." 

"  Citizens  and  jurors,"  said  he,  when  summing  up  his 
indictment  against  Madame  du  Barry,  "  you  have  given 
your  verdict  on  the  plots  of  the  wife  of  the  last  tyrant  of  the 
French  ;  you  have  at  this  moment  to  give  your  verdict  on 
the  conspiracies  of  her  infamous  predecessor.  You  see 
before  you  this  Lais,  famed  for  the  licentiousness  of  her 
morals,  the  pubHcity  and  the  display  of  her  debauchery, 
whose  wantonness  alone  made  her  share  the  destinies  of  the 
despot  who  sacrificed  the  blood  and  treasure  of  the  people  to 
his  shameful  pleasures." 

From  the  outset  of  his  magistracy,  at  the  beginning 
of  April,    1793,   Fouquier   was  as  a  rule  pitiless  towards 


42  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

drunkards^  and  madmen,  and  on  April  lo  he  asked  the 
Court  to  inflict  the  punishment  of  death  on  Luttier,  an 
old  soldier,  who,  overcome  by  drink,  asked  some  work- 
men at  the  corner  of  the  Rue  de  la  Huchette  "  whether 
they  were  Republicans  and  whether  they  had  a  soul, 
affirming  to  them  that  he  had  a  soul,  that  it  was  for  his 
king  who  had  paid  for  it ;  ^  that  the  king  was  not  dead ;  but 
that  he  still  existed  and  would  soon  appear  ;  that  France 
was  ruined  unless  there  was  a  king,  because  France  was  too 
large  for  a  Republic.  .  .  ."  Luttier  was  guillotined.  On 
April  i8,  Fouquier  appeared  against  a  Paris  cook,  Catherine 
Clere,  who,  on  the  night  of  the  7th  of  March  preceding, 
had  been  seen  to  fall  down  by  a  municipal  officer  who 
was  returning  home.  He  picked  her  up  drunk,  and  she 
immediately  said  to  him  "  that  she  would  not  allow  the  son's 
head  to  be  cut  off  like  his  father's,"  adding  that  she  meant 
"  the  little  boy  who  is  in  the  Temple."  She  was  brought  to 
the  police  station,  and  called  out  "  Long  live  the  King  1  " 
and,  say  Fouquier' s  pleadings,  indulged  in  talk  which 
"  manifested  the  disorder  of  drunkenness."  But  Fou- 
quier demanded  the  punishment  of  death  for  Catherine 
Clere,  "  for  having  wickedly  and  designedly,  in  cafes  and  at 
the  police  station,  publicly  indulged  in  conversation  tending 
to  provoke  murder,  the  dissolution  of  the  national  repre- 
sentation, and  the  re-establishment  of  royalty  in  France." 
Fouquier  was  not  embarrassed  by  the  evident  contradiction 
existing  between  the  disordered  ideas  and  words  of  the 
unhappy  woman  under  the  influence  of  drunkenness,  and 

1  It  was  not  the  offence  of  drunkenness  that  he  proceeded  against. 
He  explains  his  conduct  in  this  matter  on  the  occasion  of  the  im- 
peachment of  Menou,  an  officer  of  the  Carabineers,  on  the  15th 
of  Messidor  in  the  year  II. 

"  The  drunkenness  in  which  it  appears  that  he  was  plunged  at  the 
time  of  this  counter-revolutionary  excess  cannot  serve  him  as  an 
excuse.  A  drunken  repubhcan  has  never  asked  for  a  king ;  but  it 
is  not  astonishing  that  a  royahst,  masked  as  a  repubhcan,  should, 
in  the  disorder  of  drunkenness,  allow  his  secret  to  escape." — Archives 
Nationales,  W.  404,  No.  933,  2nd  part. 

*  He  had  served  in  what  had  been  the  king's  regiment  of  infantry. 
Archives  Nationales,  W.  268,  No.  4. 


THE    LAW'S    BUTCHERIES  43 

the  intention  of  having  wickedly,  and  therefore  knowingly, 
conspired  against  the  Convention.  Catherine  Clere  was 
guillotined,  although  her  master,  M.  de  Wailly,  and  other 
witnesses  had  come  forward  to  declare  they  had  never 
known  her  to  be  against  the  Revolution. 

We  could  go  on  with  these  quotations,  drawing  from 
them  sinister  or  dramatic  effects.  We  prefer  to  expound 
succinctly  but  clearly  the  legislative  measures  in  virtue  of 
which  Fouquier's  powers  become  more  and  more  excessive. 

This  exposition  is  necessary  to  give  some  idea  of  how  the 
Pubhc  Prosecutor,  who  was  only  an  agent,  though  a  supple, 
zealous  and  active  agent — one  who,  moreover,  felt  himself 
closely  watched  by  terrible  political  chiefs — came,  quite 
naturally  and  by  an  implacable  interpretation  of  the  revolu- 
tionary laws,  to  s^Tubohse  Terror  and  Dismay,  at  first 
almost  insensibly,  then  in  crescendo  to  the  final  butchery. 
We  must  not  forget,  that  if  in  thirteen  months  (from  April,  . 
1793,  to  the  22nd  of  Prairial  in  the  year  H.)  1,259  victims" 
mounted  the  scaffold  ;  during  the  last  forty-nine  days  of 
the  Terror  (from  the  22nd  Prairial  to  the  9th  of  Thermidor) 
1,366  persons  were  guillotined  as  conspirators. 

On  July  19,  1793,  Fouquier  directed  the  attention  of  the 
Convention  to  the  continuous  increase  of  work  that  was 
thrown  upon  the  Tribunal  by  "  circumstances."  "  The 
mass  of  business,"  he  writes,  "  would  require  at  least  eight 
judges,  five  of  whom  would  be  occupied  with  the  hearings 
and  the  other  three  with  the  preHminaries.  In  this  way, 
I  venture  to  assure  the  Convention  that  I  shall  attend  to  all 
the  business  as  promptly  as  circumstances  permit." 

The  external  situation  of  France  was  most  critical. 
Mayence  capitulated  on  July  23  ;  Valenciennes  on  the  28th. 
After  Conde's  surrender.  General  Custines  had  been  recalled 
to  Paris  on  the  12th.  The  Convention  increased  the  staff 
of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal.  On  July  24  the  number  of 
judges  was  raised  from  five  to  seven.  The  Public  Prosecutor 
and  the  President  were  to  have  a  salary  of  8,000  livres  per 
annum.  Then,  on  July  31,  two  sections  were  created.  The 
number  of  judges  and  jurors  was  raised  to  ten  ;  the  number 


44  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

of  Fouquier's  deputies  from  two  to  three  ;  that  of  the 
registrar's  clerks  from  three  to  four^ ;  and  that  of  the  corre- 
spondence clerks  from  three  to  four.  The  number  of  jurors 
was  raised  to  thirty. 

The  following  were  appointed  judges  :  Coffinhal,  an 
ex-doctor,  formerly  a  national  commissioner  of  the  Tribunal 
of  the  Second  Arrondissement  of  Paris  ;  Nicolas  Grebeau- 
val,  formerly  Fouquier's  secretary ;  Gabriel  Toussaint 
Scellier,  the  judge-director  of  the  jury  d'accusation. 

On  August  28,  Armand  Martial  Joseph  Herman,  the 
President  of  the  Criminal  Tribunal  of  the  Pas-de-Calais, 
a  compatriot  of  Robespierre,  was  appointed  Vice-President 
of  the  Tribunal,  in  Montane's  place.  Why  was  Montane 
replaced  ?  Fouquier-Tinville  had  denounced  him  to  the 
Convention  on  July  30  for  having  committed  two  grave 
mistakes.  First,  at  Charlotte  Corday's  trial.  Montane  had 
substituted  "  criminal  intentions  "  for  "  counter-revolu- 
tionary tendencies,"  a  change  that  might  have  saved  the 
prisoner's  life.  Secondly,  at  the  trial  of  Leonard  Bourdon's 
assailants  he  had  erased  from  the  minute  the  clause  about 
the  confiscation  of  property.^  Montane  was  summoned 
before  the  second  section  of  the  Tribunal  which  had  just 
been  created,  but  he  did  not  put  in  an  appearance.  He  was 
arrested  ;  but  Fouquier  forgot  him  in  his  prison,  in  spite  of 
the  entreaties  of  Montane,  who  wished  to  be  tried.  This 
touch  of  humanity  on  Fouquier's  part  saved  Montane's 
life.  He  outlived  the  gtb  of  Thermidor,  and  was  acquitted 
after  many  months  of  detention. 

On  August  25  Marseilles  was  taken  ;  on  the  28th  Toulon 
surrendered  to  the  English.     Lyons  was  in  open  insurrection. 

On  September  5  the  Sections  demanded  that  Terror  should 
be  the  order  of  the  day.  Merlin  (of  Douai)  told  the  Con- 
vention that  the  Tribunal  was  overwhelmed  with  business  ; 
prisoners  were  coming  in  from  all  parts  of  France.  Still, 
it  was  necessary  for  "  prompt  justice  to  be  granted  to  the 
people."     By  decrees  of  September  5  and  14,  the  Tribunal 

^  There  was  only  a  single  registrar. 

*  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  gi. 


EVERY    NOBLE    AND    PRIEST    A    SUSPECT   45 

was  to  be  composed  of  four  sections  and  sixteen  judges  (in- 
cluding the  President  and  the  Vice-President),  sixty  jurors, 
eight  registrar's  clerks,  and  eight  correspondence  clerks. 
"  The  scope  of  the  Tribunal "  had  to  be  increased  more 
and  more. 

In  order  to  make  it  more  effective  it  was  necessary  to 
have  the  assistance  of  the  Revolutionary  Committees.  These 
reorganised  Committees  were  charged  with  the  task  of 
proceeding  immediately  to  the  arrest  of  suspected  persons. 
Full  powers  were  granted  them  for  this  purpose,  Billaud- 
Varenne  had  said  :  "  We  must  search  out  our  enemies  in 
their  dens.  Night  and  day  will  hardly  suffice  to  arrest  them. 
I  demand  that  we  regard  as  a  suspect  every  noble  and 
every  priest  who,  on  the  adoption  of  this  decree,  is  not  found 
residing  in  his  municipality."  "  There  are  other  suspects," 
Bazire  had  added,  "  there  are  shopkeepers,  wholesale  mer- 
chants, stock-jobbers,  ex-procurators  (solicitors),  bailiffs, 
insolent  servants,  stewards  and  men  of  business,  men  of 
large  independent  means,  tricksters  in  essence,  profession, 
and  education." 

These  propositions  were  carried  unanimously.^ 

A  decree  of  September  6  ordered  the  arrest  of  all 
foreigners  resident  in  France.  The  committees  of 
surveillance  ^  were  to  draw  up  lists  of  suspects,  and  to 
issue  warrants  for  their  arrest.  At  the  sitting  of  September 
14,  Merhn  (of  Douai)  caused  the  work  to  be  divided  among 
the  four  sections  of  the  Tribunal.  Every  day  two  sections, 
alternately,  were  to  try  cases ;  the  other  two,  in  the 
Council  Chamber,  were  to  be  engaged  in  the  preUminary 
preparations  for  other  trials. 

Fouquier's  tasks  became  very  much  heavier  from  day  to 
day.  He  took  his  inspiration  from  the  propositions  enun- 
ciated by  Chaumette  on  October  10,  1793,  at  the  Council  of 
the  Commune. 

"  Those  are  suspects  who,  in  the  Assemblies  of  the  people, 
check  its  energy  by  astute  speeches,  turbulent  cries,  and 

*  Moniteur  for  September  7,   1793. 

*  Established  by  the  law  of  March  21. 


46  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

murmurs  ;  those  who,  more  prudent,  speak  mysteriously 
of  the  ills  of  the  Republic,  pity  the  fate  of  the  people,  and 
are  always  ready  to  spread  evil  tidings  with  an  affectation  of 
grief ;  those  who  have  changed  their  conduct  and  their  lan- 
guage in  accordance  with  events  ;  those  who,  silent  about 
the  crimes  of  royalists  and  federalists,  declaim  with  em- 
phasis against  the  slight  faults  of  patriots,  and,  in  order  to 
appear  republican,  affect  a  studied  austerity  and  severity  ; 
those  who  contradict  themselves  when  it  is  a  question  of  a 
moderate  or  an  aristocrat ;  those  who  pity  the  farmers  and 
the  rapacious  merchants  against  whom  the  law  is  obliged 
to  take  measures  ;  those  who,  having  always  on  their  lips 
such  words  as  liberty,  republic  and  country,  associate  with 
the  men  who  were  formerly  nobles,  with  counter-revolution- 
ary priests,  aristocrats,  jeiiillants  and  moderates,  concerning 
themselves  about  their  fate ;  those  who,  having  done 
nothing  against  liberty,  also  do  nothing  for  it."^ 

The  strength  of  the  revolutionary  government  lay  in 
"virtue"  and  "terror."-  But  the  people  were  hungry, 
were  dying  of  hunger.  They  were  offered  the  spectacle  of 
the  scaffold  and  the  daily  execution  of  conspirators.  At  the 
hour  of  the  executions  they  crowded  to  the  Place  de  la 
Revolution.  On  the  4th  of  Germinal  in  the  year  H.,  the 
Chalier  Section  informed  the  General  Council  of  the  Com- 
mune that  on  that  day  several  unfortunate  accidents  had 
been  caused  by  the  great  crowds  of  citizens,  and  the  private 
stands  erected  on  the  Place.  The  General  Council  ordered 
that  in  future  there  should  neither  be  private  stands  nor 
carts  that  could  block  the  way  ;  that  citizens  should  be 
forbidden  to  Hft  up  their  canes  or  their  hats  at  the 
moment  when  the  sword  of  the  law  was  about  to  strike 
the  guilty.^ 

On  the  5th  of  Germinal  (March  25,  1794)  Fouquier  wrote 
the  following  letter  to  Hanriot,  the  commander-in-chief  of 
the  Parisian  guard : 

'  Moniteur  for  October  12,  1793. 

*  The  saying  is  Robespierre's. 

«  Moniteur  for  the  9th  of  Germinal,  year  II. 


FOUQUIER'S    METHODS  47 

"  Citizen, 

"  The  burial  place  of  the  condemned  having  been  trans- 
ferred to  Mousseaux/  and  the  police  force  of  the  Tribunal 
being  insufficient  for  this  daily  and  continual  service  of  the 
Tribunal,  would  it  not  be  well  for  you  to  give  orders  that 
four  mounted  men  should  be  an  escort  from  the  place  of 
execution  to  the  place  where  the  bodies  are  deposited  ?  In 
this  manner  the  police  would  be  able  to  return  promptly 
to  their  post,  and  the  work  of  the  Tribunal  would  not  be 
delayed.     I  beg  you  to  take  this  matter  into  consideration. 

"  Greeting  and  fraternity, 

"  A.   Q.   FOUQUIER." 

The  5  th  of  Germinal  was  the  day  following  the  condemna- 
tion of  Hebert,  Vincent,  Ronsin,  and  their  associates  (20 
accused  persons  in  all).  In  spite  of  virtue,  liberty,  unity, 
indivisibility,  equality,  in  spite  of  the  laws  made  for  them, 
the  people  suffered  greatly.  They  were  hungry.  They 
drank.  The  drunkards  who  were  arrested  as  conspirators 
demanded  a  king  "  because  things  cannot  go  on  like  this." 
They  were  too  wretched.  "  As  for  the  crowd  of  those  who 
are  accustomed  to  attend  the  sittings  of  the  Tribunal,  indig- 
nant as  it  is,"  says  a  pohce  observer,  "  it  sees  with  uneasiness 
the  Tribunal  pursuing  a  course  contrary  to  the  laws  of 
humanity  and  justice. "^ 

This  phrase  of  the  observer  was  written  at  the  close  of 
one  of  the  sittings  during  Hebert's  trial,  a  trial  conducted 
rapidly  and  harshly  by  Dumas,  the  Vice-President. 
Fouquier  did  not  trouble  himself  much  about  investi- 
gations or  proofs  in  drawing  up  his  indictment  against 
the  editor  of  the  Pere  Duchesne  and  his  nineteen  fellow- 
prisoners  (one  of  whom  was  a  woman,  Catherine  Quetineau, 
the  widow  of  the  republican  colonel  who  was  guillotined  on 
the  26th  of  Ventose  in  the  year  II.).  Moral  proofs  and  his 
orders  were  enough  for  Fouquier.  If  he  were  inspired  by 
the  words  spoken  by  Chaumette  at  the  Council  of  the  Com- 
mune on  October  10,  1793,  he  was  also  mindful  of  the  more 

^  This  was  the  name  then  given  to  the  village  of  Monceau. 
^  Situation  de  Paris  du  2  germinal,  an  II. — Schmidt,  II.,  p.  178. 


48  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

recent  political  speeches  of  Robespierre  and  Saint- Just. 
It  was  a  matter  of  crushing  the  "  lenient  "  among  the  party 
of  the  Mountain  in  the  person  of  Danton,  and  of  suppressing 
the  rising  insurrection  of  the  Commune  in  the  person  of 
Hebert.  Robespierre  branded  them  as  the  moderates  and  the 
ultras.  At  the  Convention,  on  the  8th  of  Ventose  (February 
26,  1794),  Saint- Just  said  : — 

"  What  establishes  a  republic  is  the  total  destruction  of 
all  that  is  opposed  to  it.  People  complain  of  revolutionary 
measures  ;  but  we  are  moderates  in  comparison  with  all 
other  governments.  ...  A  striking  sign  of  treason  is 
the  pity  shown  towards  crime  in  a  repubUc  which  can  be 
based  only  on  inflexibility.  .  .  .  The  revolutionary 
government  which  had  established  the  dictatorship  of  justice 
no  longer  soars  as  it  did.  .  .  .  Destroy  the  rebel  party  ; 
paint  liberty  in  the  colour  of  bronze."^  And,  when  he 
asked  for  judicial  weapons  against  the  "corrupt  and  violent" 
who  had  sold  themselves  to  the  foreigner,  those  weapons 
were  granted.  This  is  the  decree  of  the  23rd  of  Ventose  of 
the  year  II.  : 

"...  The  Revolutionary  Tribunal  will  continue 
to  give  information  against  the  authors  and  accomplices  of 
the  conspiracy  directed  against  the  French  people  and  their 
liberty.  It  will  cause  prisoners  to  be  promptly  arraigned 
before  it  and  wiU  bring  them  to  trial.     .     .     ." 

That  very  night,  Hebert,  Ronsin,  Vincent,  and  their 
associates  were  arrested.  "  Never,"  wrote  Fouquier-Tin- 
ville  in  his  indictment,  "  has  there  existed  against  the 
sovereignty  of  the  French  people  and  its  liberty  a  conspiracy 
more  atrocious  in  its  object,  vaster,  more  immense  in  its 
connections  and  details  ;  but  the  active  vigilance  of  the 
Convention  has  caused  its  failure  by  unmasking  it  and  by 
handing  over  to  the  Tribunal  those  who  appear  to  have  been 
its  principal  instruments. "^  Then  he  summed  up  the  facts 
in  his  own  way,  in  conformity  with  the  directions  of  the  twa 
Committees. 

1  Moniteur  for  the  9th  of  Ventose,  year  II. 
*  Archives  Nationales,  W.  339,  dossier  617. 


FOUQUIER'S   DILIGENCE  49 

Every  one  knows  the  piteous  attitude  of  Hebert  during 
his  trial.  He  did  not  defend  himself.  He  answered  with  a 
*'  yes  "  or  "no."  The  violent  editor  of  the  Pere  Duchesne 
was  in  a  state  of  utter  collapse.  On  the  other  hand,  Vincent, 
Momoro,  and  Ronsin  rivalled  one  another  in  insolence.^ 
Three  of  the  accused  were  acquitted.  Laboureau,  a  medical 
student,  forty-one  years  of  age,  was  acquitted  and  received 
the  fraternal  embrace.  He  was  a  police  spy.  Colonel 
Quetineau's  widow  declared  herself  enceinte.  She  was  taken 
to  the  Eveche  hospital,  and  was  perceived  to  be  four  months 
gone  with  child.  The  Tribunal  ordered  a  postponement  of 
her  execution  ;  but  misfortune  followed  her.  Some  days 
later,  she  had  a  miscarriage.  On  May  11,  Bayard  and  Thery, 
officers  of  health,  handed  her  a  certificate  of  convalescence. 
Fouquier-Tinville  immediately  applied  to  the  Tribunal,  and 
the  Tribunal  ordered  "  that  within  twenty-four  hours  the 
judgment  of  the  4th  of  Germinal  last,  which  condemned  the 
widow  Quetineau  to  death,  should  be  proceeded  with,  the 
whole  matter  being  at  the  suit  of  the  Public  Prosecutor." 
She  was  guillotined  on  the  same  day. 

The  Public  Prosecutor's  diligence  was  extreme.     In  order 

not  to  lose  time  in  going  and  coming  he  lived  close  to  the 

Palace  of  Justice,  in  the  Place  Thionville  (now  the  Place 

Dauphine).    Rising  at  dawn,  he  was  in  his  office  before  the 

beginning  of  the  sittings,  which  generally  opened  at  nine  or 

ten  o'clock  in  the  morning,  going  through  the  formidable 

correspondence  which  reached  him  from  the  Departments, 

preparing    the    work    of    the    Tribunal,    spurring    on    his 

secretaries,  directing  his  deputies.     "  Business  "  flowed  in 

pell-mell.     How  was  he  to  cope  with  it  ?     It  was  necessary 

to  act   quickly  and   to  strike  hard.     His  pohtical   chiefs 

*  The  day  on  which  Hebert  appeared  for  his  trial  (ist  of  Germinal 
in  the  year  II.,  March  21,  1794)  Legendre,  at  the  Jacobin  Club,  had 
energetically  expounded  what  the  sentiments  of  patriots  ought  to 
be;  he  declared  that,  as  soon  as  the  Committee  of  Public  Safety 
designated  those  who  were  factious,  all  good  citizens  ought  to  dis- 
regard the  bonds  of  blood  and  of  friendship.  Legendre  himself 
promised  to  deliver  to  the  sword  of  the  law  those  who  were  dearest 
to  him,  if  they  were  designated  as  traitors.  {Moniteur  of  the  5th 
of  Germinal,  year  II.) 

D 


50  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

were  there  watching  him.  Would  he  give  it  up  ?  Would 
he  send  in  his  resignation  ?  He  could  not  even  dream  of 
doing  so.  What  would  become  of  him  ?  What  would 
become  of  his  family  ?  He  must  obey.  And  he  obeyed. 
He  was  an  executive  agent. 

Hitherto  he  had  contented  himself  with  observing  and 
following  the  law — that  law  which  changed  so  often.  His 
indictments  were,  in  reality,  only  written  summaries  of  the 
documents  that  had  been  handed  to  him,  or  of  the  examina- 
tions of  the  prisoners.  Fouquier  himself  was  content 
to  execute  the  law  and  administer  the  decrees,  and  had 
shown  himself  a  strict  and  hard  observer  of  that  law  and 
of  those  decrees.  Now  he  was  to  give  proof  of  initiative,  to 
play  a  personal  part,  to  show  himself.  He  would  violate  the 
judicial  forms  ;  he  would  be  partial.  He  would  suggest  to 
his  chiefs  of  the  two  Committees  of  General  Security  and 
of  Public  Safety  that  the  powers  at  his  command  were 
too  small,  that  it  was  possible,  by  decrees  adapted  to  the 
circumstances,  to  go  farther,  to  strike  conspirators  and 
suspects  more  surely. 

Herault  de  Sechelles  had  been  arrested.  And  Billaud- 
Varenne  had  declared  it  necessary  "  to  kill  Danton."  Saint- 
Just  had  said  :  "  If  we  do  not  have  him  guillotined,  we  shall 
be  guillotined."  On  the  loth  of  Germinal  (March  30,  1794), 
Danton  was  arrested  at  six  o'clock  in  the  morning.  So 
were  Phihppeaux,  Lacroix,  Camille  Desmoulins,  Fabre  and 
Chabot. 

In  his  indictment  Fouquier-Tinville  intended  to  amalga- 
mate old  charges,  recent  documents,  and  quite  new  denun- 
ciations, intentionally  confusing  political  prisoners  and  those 
charged  with  gambling  in  the  funds.  The  bankers,  Frey, 
Gusman  and  Deisderichen  were  to  be  associated  with  Danton 
and  his  friends  on  the  grounds  of  complicity  in  the  affair  of 
the  East  India  Company.  No  proof  was  adduced  to  support 
this  audacious  affirmation.  The  Freys,  for  example,  a 
couple  of  German  Jews  who  had  come  to  Paris  in  order,  so 
they  said,  to  breathe  "  the  air  of  liberty,"  and  who  became 
army  contractors  in  1792,  had  doubtless  been  speculators  but 


GENERAL    WESTERMANN'S    TRIAL  52 

not  State  conspirators.  Fouquier  describes  Deisderichen 
as  "  one  of  the  lawyers  of  the  King  of  Denmark."  This  is 
neither  a  charge  nor  an  argument,  but  seems  to  insinuate 
that  he  had  communications  with  the  foreigner.  Just  as 
the  foreigners,  Proly,  Cloots,  Pereyra,  had,  on  the  4th  of 
Germinal,  been  guillotined  along  with  the  violent  party,  the 
ultras,  Hebert,  Ronsin  and  Vincent  ;  so  Gusman,  Frey,  and 
Deisderichen  were  accused  together  with  the  moderates, 
with  Danton  and  the  others.  This  indictment  was  drawn 
up  from  the  manuscript  of  a  speech  made  at  the  Convention 
by  Amar,  a  member  of  the  Committee  of  General  Security, 
on  the  affair  of  the  East  India  Company. 

General  Westermann  was  also  among  the  accused. 
*'  Westermann,"  writes  Dr.  Robinet,  "  was  placed  in  the 
dock  without  any  of  the  customary  judicial  preliminaries. 
He  had  not  been  questioned.  His  indictment,  which  had 
not  been  communicated  to  him  (how  then  could  he  prepare 
his  defence  ?),  bad  been  drawn  up  by  Fouquier  on  the  basis  of 
documents  that  he  had  not  even  seen,  for  they  were  sealed  up, 
as  is  proved  by  the  official  report  made  out  on  that  very  day 
at  the  General's  house,  63,  Rue  Mesle,  by  members  of  the 
Committee  of  Surveillance  of  the  Gravilhers  Section."^ 
In  fact,  the  warrant  for  the  General's  arrest,  the  order  for 
his  attachment,  confirmed  by  a  decree  of  the  Convention, 
and  his  writ  of  indictment  are  all  of  the  same  date,  the  13th 
of  Germinal  (April  2,  1794).^  The  14th  is  the  date  of  the 
order  for  his  trial  by  the  Tribunal,  the  verification  of  the 
prisoner's  identity,  his  examination  and  appearance  in 
court.  Fouquier  drew  up  his  writ  of  indictment  on  the 
13th,  and  says  in  it  "  that  an  examination  of  the  report  of 
the  questions  put  to  Westermann  to-day  before  the  Tribunal, 
as  well  as  of  the  documents  (which  the  court  had  not  yet  at 
its  disposal,  and  which,  on  the  contrary,  it  was  at  that  very 
moment  arranging  to  have  seized  and  placed  under  seals) 
shows  that  Westermann  has  supported  the  conspiracy  of 
Dumouriez  with  all  his  power." 

*  Robinet  :   Le  Procbs  des  Dantonistes,  p   440. 

*  Archives  Nationales,  W.  342,  dossier  648,  3™^  partie. 


52  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

But  there  was  more  to  come,  viz.  :  the  part  played  by 
the  Public  Prosecutor  at  the  sitting  of  the  15th  of  Germinal 
(April  4,  1794). 

It  is  not  necessary  to  linger  over  the  charge  made  by  Paris, 
the  registrar,  called  Fabricius,  against  Fouquier-Tinville,  at 
the  time  of  his  trial,  that  he,  along  with  Lescot-Fleuriot,  had 
selected  the  jurors  for  Danton's  trial  instead  of  choosing 
them  by  lot.  Paris,  the  registrar,  was  a  friend  of  Danton. 
He  was  arrested  for  refusing  to  sign  the  document  containing 
Danton's  sentence.  It  is  possible  that  on  the  day  when  he 
had  to  give  evidence  against  Fouquier,  he  may,  out  of  ill- 
wiO  towards  him,  have  imputed  everything  to  him. 

In  the  notes  of  Topino-Lebrun,  who  was  present  at  the 
sitting,  it  is  stated  that  Fouquier  and  Herman,  the  presiding 
judge,  acted  together  in  directing  the  proceedings.  They 
passed  notes  to  one  another  of  this  character : — 

"  Herman. — In  half-an-hour  I  shall  close  Danton's 
defence.     .     .     ." 

"  Fouquier. — I  have  a  question  to  ask  Danton  relating  to 
Belgium  when  you  have  finished  your  questions." 

"  Herman. — We  must  not  enter  into  the  Belgian  business 
in  regard  to  anybody  except  Lacroix  and  Danton  ;  and 
when  we  have  reached  that  point,  we  must  hurry  on.     .     ." 

Herman  and  Fouquier  were  continually  interrupting  the 
prisoners'  defence  in  order  to  exhaust  the  three  days  at  the 
end  of  which  the  presiding  judge  of  the  Tribunal  had  a 
right  to  ask  the  jury  if  they  would  declare  themselves 
sufficiently  informed  and  ready  to  close  the  case.^ 

There  is  another  significant  fact — that  Lacroix  insisted 
on  being  allowed  to  speak,  and  said  that  it  was  impossible 
for  the  jury  to  be  sufficiently  informed  since  they  had  not 
heard  the  witnesses.  Addressing  Fouquier,  he  asked  him 
if  he  had  summoned  the  witnesses,  a  list  of  whom  he  had  sent 
him.  At  this  question  Fouquier  was  "  a  little  taken  aback." 
He  answered  that  he  had  lost  it.     Lacroix  expressed  aston- 

1  On  the  initiative  of  Fouquier-Tinville  this  right  had  been  given 
to  the  presiding  judge  by  a  decree  of  the  7th  of  Brumaire  in  the  year 
II.,  on  the  occasion  of  the  trial  of  the  Girondins. 


AN    APPEAL    TO    THE    COMMITTEE  53 

ishment.  Fouquier  replied  that  he  was  within  his  rights, 
according  to  the  law,  in  not  giving  witnesses  to  the  prisoners. 
Lacroix  and  the  others  pointed  out  that  as  they  themselves 
had  helped  to  pass  this  law,  they  knew  it,  and  that  it  did 
not  state  what  the  Public  Prosecutor  wanted  to  make  it 
say.  Then  Fouquier  declared  that  he  would  write  to  the 
Convention  in  order  that  "  the  fact  might  be  cleared  up."^ 

During  the  hearing  he  wrote,  not  to  the  Convention,  but 
to  the  Committee  of  Public  Safety,  the  famous  letter  in 
which  he  gave  an  account  of  the  prisoners'  demands. 

"  Paris,  this  15th  of  Germinal  in  the  Second  Year  of  the 
Repubhc  one  and  indivisible." 

"  Citizens  and  representatives, 

"  A  horrible  storm  has  been  raging  from  the  moment 
that  the  session  began  :  the  prisoners,  like  madmen,  are 
demanding  the  hearing  of  witnesses  for  the  defence,  the 
citizens  and  Deputies,  Simon,  Courtois,  Laignelot,  Freron, 
Panis,  Ludot,  Callon,  Merlin  (of  Douai),  Gossuin,  Legendre, 
Robert  Lindet,  Robin,  Goupilleau  (of  Montaigu),  Lecointre 
(of  Versailles),  Brival,  and  Merhn  (of  Thionville).  They  are 
appeahng  to  the  people  against  the  refusal  which  they  say 
they  have  received  ;  in  spite  of  the  firmness  of  the  presiding 
judge  and  of  the  entire  Tribunal,  their  repeated  demands 
disturb  the  sitting,  and  they  openly  proclaim  that  they 
will  not  be  silent  until  their  witnesses  are  heard  and  that 
without  a  decree  ;  we  request  you  definitely  to  lay  down  a 
course  for  us  to  follow  in  regard  to  this  demand,  the  judicial 
procedure  not  furnishing  us  with  any  means  of  justifying 
this  refusal. 

"  A.  Q.  Fouquier,  Herman,  presiding  judge."^ 

Saint- Just  cynically  abstained  from  reading  this  letter  to 
the  Convention.  He  exclaimed  :  "  The  wretches  !  They 
confess  their  crime  hy  resisting  the  law  !     ...     At  this 

*  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  58. 

*  Before  composing  this  letter  with  Herman,  Fouquier  had 
written  another,  differing  considerably  from  this,  which  contained 
the  words  :   "  The  only  method  would  in  our  opinion  be  a  decree." 


54  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

moment  conspiracies  in  their  favour  are  being  organised 
in  the  prisons  ;  at  this  moment  the  aristocrats  are  stirring  '.  " 
He  informed  the  Convention  of  the  denunciation  of  Citizen 
Laflotte,  a  spy  in  the  Luxembourg  prison,  showing  that  a 
conspiracy  with  the  object  of  murdering  the  members  of  the 
Convention  and  of  the  Tribunal  existed  among  the  prisoners 
and  the  accused.  He  proposed  a  decree  depriving  them  of 
the  right  to  plead.  "  Every  person  accused  of  conspiracy 
who  shall  resist  or  insult  the  national  justice,  shall  immedi- 
ately be  deprived  of  the  right  to  plead."  The  decree  was 
passed.  Amar  and  Voulland  carried  it  to  the  Tribunal. 
Fouquier  requested  that  the  decree  be  read  and  registered. 
On  the  i6th,  at  the  opening  of  the  hearing,  he  declared  to 
Danton  and  Lacroix  that  their  witnesses  would  not  be  heard. 
The  presiding  judge  read  the  decree  of  the  7th  of  Brumaire 
of  the  year  IL,  authorising  the  Tribunal  to  ask  the  jury  if 
they  were  sufficiently  informed.  The  jury  retired.  After 
a  fairly  long  interval  they  returned.  On  the  same  evening, 
Trinchard,  the  foreman  of  the  jury,  declared  that  they  were 
sufficiently  informed.  Fouquier  then  stated  that,  owing 
to  the  indecency  and  blasphemy  of  the  accused  during  the 
trial,  he  saw  himself  obliged  to  take  measures  proportionate 
to  the  gravity  of  the  circumstances.  At  his  request  the 
Tribunal  had  ordered  that  the  questions  should  be  put  to 
the  jury  and  sentence  passed  in  the  absence  of  the  accused. 
Carts  were  waiting  in  the  courtyard  of  the  Conciergerie. 
The  Dantonists  passed  from  the  audience  chamber  to  the 
condemned  cell.  They  heard  their  death  sentence  whilst 
they  were  being  prepared  for  execution.  They  then  set 
out  for  the  guillotine. 

In  reality  the  pleadings  had  been  closed  without  ever 
having  begun.  No  document  had  been  read.  None  of  the 
witnesses  who  were  asked  for  had  been  heard.  Fouquier 
had  assumed  a  terrible  responsibility.  Besides  the  fact, 
of  which  Paris  afterwards  accused  him,  that  he  and 
Herman  had  gone  into  the  jurors'  room  in  order  to 
influence  them  during  their  deliberations,  he  had  dis- 
torted the  character  of  the  protests  made  by  the  accused 


A    MONSTROUS    DECREE  55 

when  they  insisted  on  having  witnesses,  as  was  their  right, 
and  this  was  a  crime.  Moreover,  when  he  suggested  in  his 
letter  to  the  Committee  of  PubHc  Safety  that  it  was  possible, 
by  a  decree,  to  deprive  the  accused  of  speech  and  liberty 
of  defence,  he  committed  a  second  crime.  He  gave  Saint- 
Just  a  weapon  for  his  judicial  coup  d'etat. 

Later,  when  he  was  accused  in  his  turn,  he  denied  that 
he  was  responsible  for  the  judgment  passed  on  Danton 
and  for  his  death. 

"  I  appeal  to  common  sense  and  to  reason.  If  I  had  an 
understanding  with  the  ferocious  and  sanguinary  Robes- 
pierre and  his  accomplices^  to  deprive  Danton  and  the 
other  accused  of  all  means  of  justifying  themselves  :  ist. 
should  I  have  written  the  letter  of  which  I  have  just  spoken  ? 
2nd.  should  I  have  informed  the  Committee  that  the  accused 
demanded  with  loud  outcries  to  have  a  certain  number  of 
Deputies  heard  in  their  defence  ?  3rd.  should  I  have 
stated  that  the  accused  appealed  to  the  entire  people 
against  the  refusal  they  received  ?  No,  certainly  not, 
imless,  indeed,  you  wish  to  find  evil  in  the  simplest  and  most 
correct  acts,  etc.  .  .  .  Could  I  expect  that  by  an  act 
of  perfidy  as  guilty  as  it  was  incredible.  Saint- Just,  who 
received  my  letter,  would  change  its  text  and  attribute  to 
me  the  assertion  that  the  accused  were  in  open  rebellion, 
etc.  ?  " 

Why,  instead  of  addressing  his  letter  to  the  Committee 
of  Public  Safety,  where  he  knew  Saint- Just  and  Robespierre 
were  determined  to  crush  Danton,  had  he  not  addressed 
it  to  the  Convention  ?  Danton  might  perhaps  have  been 
saved.  Why  should  we  be  dupes  of  the  words,  "  unless, 
indeed,  we  wish  to  find  evil  in  the  simplest  and  most  correct 
acts,"  when  we  have  in  mind  the  last  phrase  in  his  first  letter 
to  the  Committee :  "  It  is  urgent  that  you  indicate  a 
course  for  us  to  follow,  and  the  only  method  would  in  our 
opinion  be  a  decree "  ?  By  these  words  he  obviously 
suggests  a  judicial  method  of  preventing  the  defence.  This 
would  be  a  decree.  Saint- Just  did  not  need  to  be  told  twice. 
1  This  Wcis  written  after  the  9th  of  Thermidor. 


56  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

The  decree  was  passed.  It  is  possible  that  this  single  letter 
of  Fouquier's  may  have  caused  his  ruin  some  months  later. 

Foiiqiiier  was  an  agent  of  the  law  ;  but  should  all  feeling 
of  humanity,  all  pity,  be  abolished  when  it  was  a  matter  of 
applying  that  law  ?  Why  should  he  have  no  share  in  the 
responsibihty  for  the  atrocious  condemnation  of  Madame 
de  Lavergne,  on  the  day  before  Danton's  trial  ?  The  facts 
are  these.  Louis  Fran9ois  de  Lavergne-Champlaurier,  lieu- 
tenant-colonel, mihtary  commander  of  Longwy,  had  just 
been  condemned  for  having  delivered  Longwy  to  the  enemy. 
He  was  very  ill  and  aged.  His  wife  had  personally  taken 
steps  with  the  Committee  of  General  Security  to  ask  for  a 
reprieve.  jMadame  de  Lavergne  was  twenty-sLx,  young 
and  beautiful.  Amar,  old  Vadier  (called  "  sixty  years  of 
virtue  "),  and  VouUand  received  her  banteringly,  pretending 
to  be  surprised  that  "she  wished  to  put  off  the  moment 
that  would  rid  her  of  an  old  and  infirm  husband."  ^  She 
went  to  the  Vice-President  of  the  Tribunal.  Dumas  received 
her  as  Amar,  Vadier,  and  VouUand  had  done.  Then  she 
understood  there  was  nothing  left  for  her  to  do.  She  went 
to  the  Tribunal  and  seated  herself  on  the  ground  in  the 
middle  of  the  crowd.  She  waited  until  the  hearing  began. 
Then  she  saw  the  gaolers  of  the  Conciergerie  carry  in  her 
husband  on  a  mattress,  in  a  dying  condition.  The  writ  of 
indictment  was  read,  and  sentence  of  death  pronounced. 

Suddenly  a  cry  rose  from  the  middle  of  the  crowd  in  one 
of  the  halls  adjacent  to  that  of  the  Tribunal,  a  cry  of  "  Long 
hve  the  King  !  " — several  times  repeated.  It  was  Madame 
de  Lavergne  "  who  wanted  to  he  ginllotined  because  they 
were  going  to  murder  her  husband,"  as  she  declared  to  the 
officials  before  whom  she  was  immediately  led  by  the  pohce.^ 
She  had  suddenly  become  mad  from  grief.  Questioned 
repeatedly,  she  could  only  say  :  "I  have  asked  for  a  King. 
I  want  to  be  guillotined.  They  are  going  to  murder  my 
husband.  I  want  to  go  to  bed."  And  when  her  examina- 
tion was  read,  she  declared  that  she  no  longer  knew  what 
they  had  asked  her,  or  what  she  had  answered.  She  was 
»  Campardon,  I.  287.  *  Archives  Nationales,  W.  342,  dossier  643. 


AFTER    DANTON'S    DEATH  57 

placed  on  the  benches  for  the  prisoners.  It  was  Grebeauval, 
the  PubHc  Prosecutor's  deputy,  who  pleaded  against  her. 
She  was  condemned  to  death.  Herman,  icy  and  im- 
penetrable, presided  over  the  sitting. 

The  writ  of  indictment,  which  may  be  seen  among  the 
Archives,  had  been  prepared  by  one  of  Fouquier's  secre- 
taries ;  but  the  Pubhc  Prosecutor  had  signed  it,  and  added 
in  the  margin  some  notes,  "  some  exact  statements."  Can 
it  be  said  that  he  had  no  responsibility  for  the  death  of 
Madame  de  Lavergne,  who  was  guillotined  at  the  age  of 
twenty-six  for  having  tenderly  loved  her  aged  husband  ? 

The  consequences  of  Danton's  death  made  themselves 
felt  from  the  i6th  of  Germinal  (April  5,  1794)  onwards. 
It  was  necessary  to  keep  the  pubhc  mind  occupied,  to  set 
pubhc  opinion  on  the  wrong  track,  to  prove  that  the  Con- 
spiracy existed,  that  it  was  not  an  invention  of  the  police, 
that  the  patriots  ran  the  greatest  dangers,  that  they  risked 
assassination.  For  this  business  the  Committees  of  Public 
Safety  and  of  General  Security  used  one  of  their  creatures 
whom  they  kept  for  some  time  in  the  house  of  detention  of 
the  Luxembourg.  His  name  was  Laflotte,  "  an  ex-Minister 
of  the  Repubhc  of  Florence."  Laflotte  was  a  prison  spy 
and  an  agent  provocateur.  It  was  he  who  lodged  informa- 
tion against  the  Conspirators.  He  was  the  principal 
witness  at  the  trial.  On  the  proposal  of  Billaud-Varenne  his 
declaration  was  read  by  a  secretary  at  the  Convention  on 
the  15th  of  Germinal.  It  dealt  with  a  plot  contrived  by 
certain  prisoners  at  the  head  of  whom  were  General  Arthur 
Dillon  and  Deputy  Philibert  Simond.  Dillon  had  written 
to  the  wife  of  Camille  Desmouhns,  offering  her  a  thousand 
crowns  to  hire  people,  and  to  have  the  Revolutionary 
Tribunal  surrounded  during  Danton's  trial.  Chaumette's 
wife  had  passed  through  the  Luxembourg  ;  she  had  made 
signs  of  satisfaction  to  her  husband  by  clapping  her  hands. 
Dillon  claimed  that  in  the  Luxembourg  prison  there  were  200 
men  wiUing  to  do  his  bidding ;  Simond  that  he  had  forty. 
The  blow  was  to  be  struck  at  night.  They  would  then  go 
to  the  Committee  of  Public  Safety,  and  "  slaughter  it." 


58  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

First  of  all,  to  collect  the  prisoners  and  fetch  them  out,  the 
alarm  would  have  to  be  given  in  the  prison.  Dillon  charged 
himself  with  leading  the  armed  force.  He  claimed  that 
he  had  on  his  side  the  writer  and  a  turnkey  who  would 
compel  the  officer  of  the  guard  to  give  the  pass-word.  The 
conspirators  had  admitted  Laflotte  into  their  secret.  The 
spy  "  passed  a  very  agitated  night,  fearing  that  Dillon 
might  take  it  into  his  head  to  execute  his  plan  in  the  middle 
of  the  night."  He  got  up  at  dawn  and  hastened  to  com- 
municate with  the  Committee  of  Public  Safety. 

It  is  an  obscure  affair.  How  much  truth  was  there  in  all 
this  ?  Was  the  plot  real  ?  The  information  laid  by  the  spy 
Laflotte  came  at  a  singularly  opportune  moment  during 
Danton's  trial.  A  pretext  had  been  found.  This  same 
pretext  was  to  serve,  during  their  trial  before  the  Tribunal 
from  the  2ist  to  the  24th  of  Germinal,  against  Chaumette, 
the  national  agent  of  the  Commune  of  Paris ;  against  Gobel, 
the  renegade  Bishop  of  Paris,  "apostles  of  atheism"; 
against  Arthur  Dillon,  the  treacherous  general;  against 
Deputy  Phihbert  Simond,  and  against  twenty-one  other 
prisoners  in  the  Luxembourg,  among  whom  were  Lucille,  the 
pathetic  young  wife  of  Camille  Desmoulins,  and  Hebert's 
widow. 

According  to  Fouquier-Tinville  these  prisoners,  all  of  such 
different  circumstances  and  origins,  conspired  together  in 
the  Luxembourg  prison  to  replace  the  son  of  Louis  XVI. 
on  the  throne  of  France.  Their  machinations  were  paid  for 
by  the  Foreigner's  gold.  The  Public  Prosecutor  saw  in  them, 
moreover,  accomplices  of  Hebert  and  "  of  other  conspirators 
already  smitten  by  the  sword  of  the  Law." 

In  the  spring  of  1794,  a  shudder  of  terror  shook  France 
to  her  foundations.  Alarm  was  everywhere.  The  "  batches"^ 
were  beginning.  It  was  Saint-Just  who  denounced  the 
slackness  of  the  Provincial  Tribunals.  He  carried  the  law 
of  the  27th  of  Germinal  (April  16).     "  Persons  accused  of 

1  Fournees,  or  batches  of  loaves  for  the  oven,  the  name  given  to 
the  groups  of  condemned  persons  tried  at  the  same  time  and  sent 
together  to  the  guillotine. — Tr. 


PETER    GASPAR    CHAUMETTE 


WHOLESALE    DENUNCIATIONS  59 

conspiracy  will  be  brought  before  the  Revolutionary  Tri- 
bunal from  all  quarters  of  the  Republic.  The  Committees 
of  Public  Safety  and  of  General  Security  will  promptly 
search  out  the  accomplices  of  conspirators  and  cause 
them  to  be  brought  before  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal." 
Denunciations  were  forwarded  to  the  Public  Prosecutor: 
denunciations  voluntary  and  subsidised,  made  "  in  the 
name  of  the  liberty  and  happiness  of  the  French 
people  "  ;  denunciations  of  servants  against  their  masters, 
of  clerks  against  their  employers,  of  deserted  women 
against  their  lovers,  of  debtors  against  their  creditors, 
and  vice  versa,  of  soldiers  against  their  officers.  Billaud- 
Varenne,  in  his  report  to  the  Convention  on  the  ist  of 
Floreal,  depicts  in  blazing  lines  a  project  for  national 
regeneration  by  means  of  the  guillotine  :  "  Vigorous  action 
is  necessary.  .  .  ,  The  inflexible  austerity  of  Lycurgus 
became  at  Sparta  the  immovable  foundation  of  the  Republic  ; 
the  weak  and  trusting  character  of  Solon  plunged  Athens 
again  into  slavery.  .  .  .  This  parallel  contained  the 
whole  science  of  government.  ...  The  pretensions 
of  Prussia  and  of  England  vanished  with  Brissot,  Carra, 
Hebert,  Danton,  and  Fabre  d'Eglantine.  .  .  ."  War 
continued,  however.  Armies  and  generals  were  needed. 
Billaud-Varenne  drew  an  "  enchanting  "  picture  of  a  France 
regenerated  by  virtue  and  justice  that  had  been  made  the 
order  of  the  day  :  instruction  made  universal ;  purification 
of  heart ;  egoism  destroyed  ;  no  more  beggary ;  no  more 
hospitals  ;  charity  bestowed  in  the  dwellings  ;  work  for 
all ;  well-being  for  all ;  the  triumph  of  citizenship  and 
sensibility.^ 

On  that  day  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal  tried  a  large 
"  batch  "  of  twenty-five  former  members  of  the  Parlements 
of  Paris  and  of  Toulouse,  Lepeletier-Rosambo,  Bourree- 
Corberon,  Bochart  de  Saron,  Mole  de  Champlatreux,  Lefebvre 
d'Ormesson,  Pasquier,  etc.  They  were  accused  of  having 
protested  against  the  decrees  of  the  National  Assembly. 
They  appeared  before  "  solid  "  jurors  who  were  not  "  gentle- 
^  Moniteur  of  2nd  of  Floreal,  year  II. 


6o  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

men  "  as  they  were — Gravier,  the  vinegar-seller,  Brochet, 
the  ex-lackey,  Trinchard,  the  ex-dragoon  and  carpenter, 
etc. 

Among  the  accused  was  Henry  Guy  Sallier,  a  former 
President  of  the  Cour  des  Aides.  "  You  are  mistaken,"  he 
protested,  "for  I  was  not  a  member  of  the  Parlement,  but 
a  President  of  the  Cour  des  Aides.  The  matter  has  to  do 
with  my  son,  Guy  Marie  SaUier,  a  Councillor  in  the  Parle- 
ment." Hisprotest  wasin  vain.  He  was  guillotined.  There 
was  even  an  error  regarding  his  person.  At  his  examina- 
tion, which  took  place  in  Fouquier's  presence,  he  had 
declared  that  his  name  was  Henry  Guy  Sallier  and  not  Guy 
Marie.  Fouquier  had  in  his  hands  all  the  documents  relating 
to  the  matter.  He  was  not  present  at  the  actual  trial, 
his  deputy,  Gilbert  Liendon,  pleading  in  his  stead.  But 
it  is  none  the  less  true  that  Fouquier  had  carelessly  issued  a 
warrant  for  the  arrest  of  the  father  instead  of  the  son,  and 
had  equally  carelessly  drawn  up  his  indictment  against  the 
father. 

Later,  at  Fouquier's  trial,  Sallier's  son  came  forward  to  give 
evidence.  His  declaration  was  clear. ^  It  should  be  noted 
that  on  this  ist  of  Floreal,  Fouquier  wrote  to  Hanriot,  the 
commander  of  the  armed  forces  of  Paris,  to  tell  him  that 
"  the  verdict  will  be  given  at  three  o'clock."  ^  Was  he 
then  sure  of  it  beforehand  ?  It  must  be  noted,  finally,  that 
the  farewell  letter  of  Honore  Rigaud,  one  of  the  Parhamen- 
tarians  of  Toulouse,  written  to  his  wife  at  the  moment 
when  he  was  starting  for  the  scaffold,  was  never  sent  to  the 
address  it  bore.  It  is  still  to  be  found  in  the  bundle  of  papers 
pertaining  to  the  Tribunal  preserved  among  the  Archives.^ 
It  is  a  sad  letter,  full  of  noble  resignation,  in  which  the 
unhappy  man  forgives  his  enemies,  begs  his  family  not  to 
attempt  to  avenge  his  death,  and  sends  to  his  wife  and 
children  his  last  thoughts.  Fouquier-Tinville  did  not  take 
the  trouble  to  forward  it.  Herman  had  ceased  to  be  Presi- 
dent of  the  Tribunal  some  days  before.     In  reward  for  his 

*  See  page  244.  *  Archives  Nationales,  A.  F.  II.,  48,  No.  200. 

'  Archives  Nationales,  W.  121,  pidce  no. 


JOHN'    MAY    KOI.AND    DE    1,A    PI.ATIERE 


FOUQUIER'S    VIOLENCE  6i 

attitude  during  Danton's  trial,  he  had,  on  the  19th  of 
Germinal,  been  appointed  Minister  of  Justice  in  succession 
to  Pare.  Dumas,  the  Vice-President,  had  succeeded  him 
as  President.  Fouquier  was  on  bad  terms  with  Dumas, 
a  notorious  drunkard,  whom  the  Public  Prosecutor  spoke 
of  as  his  "  mortal  enemy."  Fouquier's  position  became 
difficult.  Watched  closely  by  the  Committees,  detested  by 
his  President,  he  often  gave  vent  to  sudden  bursts  of  anger 
against  his  secretaries  and  the  jurors.^  His  violent  character 
and  his  overbearing  temperament  were  ill  adapted  to  the 
limitations  of  his  office. 

Herman,  however,  thought  that  "  the  law  gave  too 
much  power  to  the  PubUc  Prosecutor  and  did  not  allow  to 
the  Tribunal  so  much  supervision  as  was  desirable."  He 
considered  that  "  Fouquier  did  his  work  somewhat  in  the 
style  of  a  Procurator." ^  This  ex-Procurator  was  impa- 
tient with  the  caprices  of  Dumas,  with  the  abrupt,  incoherent 
manner  in  which  the  presiding  judge  conducted  the  pro- 
ceedings, and  interrupted  and  silenced  the  accused.  He 
opposed  him  ;  he  insisted  that  certain  witnesses  should 
be  heard.  These  two  magistrates  were  in  constant  rivalry. 

However,  business  kept  coming  in  on  all  sides.  On  the 
5th  of  Floreal  (April  24)  thirty-five  inhabitants  of  Verdun 
were  placed  in  the  dock.  The}^  were  charged  with  having 
given  up  Verdun  to  the  King  of  Prussia.  Several  of  them 
were  old  men  of  seventy,  seventy-two,  seventy-five,  and 
seventy-six  years  of  age.  There  were  young  girls,  two  of 
whom,  Claire  Tabouillot  and  Barbe  Henry,  were  only 
seventeen. 

These  last  were  not  condemned  to  death,  but  to  twenty 
years'  detention  and  to  exposure  on  the  scaffold  for  six 
hours.3    On  the  6th  of  Floreal  (April  25),  Anisson  Duperron, 

1  He  was  snappish  and  rough  to  the  jurors.  One  day  as  he  was 
coming  away  from  a  hearing,  he  said  to  them,  "How  could  you 
declare  that  that  man  was  guilty  ?  He  was  not  even  brought  to 
plead."  On  other  occasions  he  would  burst  into  a  rage  against  them 
because  they  had  acquitted. 

'  Archives  Nationales,  W.  501,  2nd  dossier,  p.  78. 

*  Archives  Nationales,  W.  352,  No.  718. 


62  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

the  Director  of  the  National  Printing  Office  of  the  Louvre, 
was  condemned  to  death.  His  magnificent  estate  of  Ris 
became  the  property  of  the  nation.  Very  generous  in  his 
district  of  Ris  (re-named  Brutus),  he  died  the  victim  of  an 
abominable  attempt  at  blackmailing  on  the  part  of  the 
Mayor  and  some  other  inhabitants  who  were  jealous  of  his 
immense  fortune.  On  the  9th  of  Floreal  (April  28)  Fouquier 
mistook  two  accused  persons  for  one.  And  this  fact  tends 
to  justify  Herman's  criticism  when,  as  a  witness  in  Fouquier's 
trial,  he  affirmed  ' '  that  personally  he  regarded  him  as  a  bit  of 
a  blunderer,  that  is  to  say  that  his  office  was  not  orderly 
enough,"  and  that  "  the  Tribunal  had  often  reprimanded 
him  for  want  of  accuracy  and  precision  in  his  writs  of  indict- 
ment. "^  The  two  accused  persons  who  were  mistaken  for 
one  on  this  gth  of  Floreal  were  Pichard-Dupage  and  Olivier- 
Despallieres.  Their  names  were  mixed  up  into  Pichard- 
Despallieres.  In  the  "  batch  "  for  this  day  ^  there  figured 
Denis  Francois  Angram  d'Alleray,  a  former  civil  lieutenant 
at  the  Chatelet.  He  had  rendered  some  services  to  Fouquier 
when  he  was  a  Procurator  at  the  Chatelet.  The  PubUc 
Prosecutor  of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal  remembered  the 
debt  of  gratitude  contracted  by  the  Procurator  before  the 
Revolution.     He  told  Citizen  Angram  to  deny  everything.^ 

The  latter  was  charged  with  having  sent  assistance  to  one 
of  his  children  who  had  emigrated.  He  did  not  deny  the  fact, 
but  openly  declared  :  "I  know  the  law.  It  forbids  all  com- 
munication with  the  emigrants.  But  the  laws  of  nature 
take  precedence  over  the  laws  of  the  Republic."  He  was 
guillotined. 

On  the  same  day  Fouquier  asked  the  Committee  of  Public 
Safety  for  a  remuneration  of  from  fifteen  to  twenty  thousand 
livres  for  Sanson,  the  public  executioner.  The  Committee 
granted  twenty  thousand  livres.'^ 

Among  others  brought  before  the  Tribimal  during  Floreal 

'  Archives  Nationales,  W.  501,  2nd  dossier,  p.  78. 
^  Archives  Nationales,  W.  501,  2nd  dossier,  p.  78. 
2  Campardon,  I.,  p.  312. 
*  Archives  Nationales  A.F.,  22,  dossier  69,  p.  81. 


MADAME    ELISABETH  63 

were  soldiers,  sans-culottes,  drunkards,  cabmen,  national 
guards,  vine-growers,  milliners,  dressmakers,  men  of  the 
Court  and  of  the  people,  artisans  and  peasants.  The  grounds 
of  offence  were  seditious  cries,  and,  above  all,  that  of  "  Long 
live  the  King  !  "  which  continually  issued  from  the  mouths 
of  the  humble  as  the  supreme  expression  of  their  misery  and 
despair.  On  the  I3tb  and  14th  of  Floreal  the  accused  con- 
sisted of  officers,  non-commissioned  officers,  and  soldiers 
of  the  battalions  of  the  National  Guard  of  the  districts  of  the 
Filles-Saint-Thomas  and  of  the  Petits-Peres.  On  the  15th 
of  Floreal,  of  aristocrats  and  sans-culottes  guilty  of  counter- 
revolutionary utterances.  On  the  i6th  of  Floreal,  there  was 
Claude  Fran^oise  Loisilher,  "  a  maker  of  milhnery,"  who 
had  stuck  up  royalist  placards  on  the  walls  in  her  district. 
Two  other  women,  a  hairdresser  and  a  milhner,  appeared  in 
the  dock  with  her.  They  were  tried  and  condemned  to  death 
for  seditious  cries.  A  cook  was  acquitted.  She,  it  appears, 
had  not  acted  "  knowingly."  On  the  17th  of  Floreal,  there 
were  "  batches  "  of  eleven  and  of  thirteen  accused  persons  ; 
on  the  i8th,  "  batches  "  of  eighteen  and  of  seven  ;  on  the 
19th,  Lavoisier  and  the  Farmers-General  (to  the  number  of 
twenty-eight).  They  were  charged  with  falsifying  their 
accounts  ;  but  this  crime  did  not  involve  appearance  before 
the  Revolutionary  Tribunal.  A  plot  had  accordingly  been 
trumped  up.  In  reality  it  was  their  property  that  was 
desired.  They  offered  two  millions  out  of  this  property. 
They  defended  themselves  in  long,  carefully  prepared,  and 
very  circumstantial  Memorials.  It  was  lost  labour.  There 
was  no  time  to  take  account  of  them.  Speed  was  necessary. 
Fouquier-Tinville  had  made  out  his  writ  of  indictment,  and 
they  were  condemned  to  death.^ 

On  the  2ist  of  Floreal  Madame  Elisabeth  was  brought 
before  the  Tribunal  with  twenty-three  other  prisoners, 
including  four  members  of  the  de  Lomenie  family  (Frangois, 
Charles,  Athanase,  and  Martial).  Fouquier-Tinville  affirmed, 
at  the  time  of  his  trial,  that  he  wished  to  divert  the  argu- 
ments, and  to  save  Athanase  de  Lomenie,  a  former  Minister 
"  Archives  Nationales,  W.  358  to  362. 


64  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

of  War.  "  Imbued  with  veneration  and  respect  for  the  ex- 
Minister,"  he  said,  "  I  had  arranged  to  turn  to  account  all 
that  was  memorable  and  advantageous  for  that  worthy 
ex-Minister  ;  but,  having  foreseen  my  laudable  intentions, 
Liendon,  my  deputy,  anticipated  me  at  the  hearing ;  he 
arranged  to  have  the  case  tried  before  my  arrival  at  the 
Tribunal,  and  I  was  not  able  to  fulfil  my  good  intentions." 
Then  followed  a  eulogy  of  M.  de  Lomenie,  whose  virtues 
he  proclaimed,  which  brought  upon  him  this  reply  from 
Cambon,  one  of  the  deputies  of  the  Pubhc  Prosecutor. 
"  I  hold  in  my  hand  the  wTit  of  indictment  presented  by  you 
and  signed  by  you  against  Lomenie."  Cambon  read  this 
document  and  said  :  "  You  have  just  made  a  very  pompous 
and  well-merited  eulogy  on  Lomenie,  the  ex-Minister,  and 
yet  in  your  writ  of  indictment  you  make  it  out  a  crime  that  he 
captured  votes  to  become  the  Mayor  of  his  district,  and  that 
he  asked  for  petitions  from  neighbouring  districts.  Why, 
then,  do  you  shelter  yourself  to-day  under  his  quahties  in 
order  to  excuse  a  conviction  that  your  eulogies  now  deny  ? 
Did  your  heart  formerly  deny  what  your  mouth  utters 
to-day."     We  do  not  possess  Fouquier's  answer.'^ 

If  we  are  to  beheve  Madame  Ehsabeth's  defender,  Chau- 
veau-Lagarde,  Fouquier-Tinville  was  so  perfidious  as  to 
deceive  him  by  assuring  him  that  her  trial  would  not  take 
place  so  soon,  and  he  refused  him  authority  to  confer  with 
her.  On  the  following  day,  her  lawyer  saw  her  in  the 
dock,  and  in  a  prominent  position. ^  Fouquier  had  been 
present  at  her  examination.  He  was  not  present  at  the 
hearing  of  the  case.  It  was  Gilbert  Liendon  who  occupied 
his  place,  and  Dumas  who  presided.  The  beginning  of  the 
indictment  is  written  in  Fouquier's  hand  :  "  Elisabeth  Capet, 
sister  of  Louis  Capet,  the  last  tyrant  of  the  French,  aged 
thirty,  bom  at  Versailles."  The  document  is  in  Fouquier's 
style.  He  revised  and  signed  it.  This  document  lays  it 
down  that  "  it  is  to  the  family  of  the  Capets  that  the  people 

»  Buchez  and  Roux,  XXXIV.,  p.  441. 

*  Chauveau-Lagarde  ;     Note  historique  sur  les  proces  de    Marie- 
Antoinette  et  de  Madame  Elisabeth,  p.  50. 


BLANK    DEATH    WARRANTS  65 

owe  all  the  evils  under  the  weight  of  which  they  have  groaned 
for  so  many  centuries.  It  is  at  the  moment  when  excess  of 
oppression  has  forced  the  people  to  break  their  chains  that 
all  the  members  of  this  family  united  to  plunge  them  into  a 
state  of  slavery  more  cruel  than  that  from  which  they  were 
trying  to  emerge.  The  crimes  of  all  kinds,  the  wicked  deeds 
heaped  up  by  Capet,  by  the  Messalina,  Antoinette,  by  the 
two  brothers  Capet,  and  by  Elisabeth,  are  too  well  known 
to  make  it  necessary  again  to  paint  here  the  horrible  picture  ; 
they  are  written  in  letters  of  blood  in  the  annals  of  the  Revo- 
lution, and  the  unheard-of  atrocities  perpetrated  by  the  bar- 
barous emigrants  or  the  sanguinary  satellites  of  the  despots, 
the  murders,  the  incendiaries,  the  ravages,  and,  finally,  the 
assassinations,  unknown  to  the  most  ferocious  monsters, 
which  they  commit  on  French  territory,  are  still  ordered  by 
this  detestable  family  in  order  to  deliver  a  great  nation  to 
the  despotism  and  fury  of  a  few  individuals.  Elisabeth  has 
participated  in  all  these  crimes." 

The  document  is  well  known,  and  it  is  not  necessary  for  us 
to  reproduce  it  in  its  entirety.  It  is  interesting  to  note  that  a 
blank  death  warrant  must  have  been  signed.  In  the  original, 
which  may  be  seen  at  the  Archives,  a  considerable  space 
separates  the  text  of  this  warrant  from  the  formula,  "  given 
and  delivered,"  followed  by  the  signatures  of  the  judges. 
Many  other  warrants  at  this  period  show  the  same 
irregularity. 

On  the  25th  of  Floreal,  Madame  Douet,  who  appeared  as  a 
witness  at  the  trial  of  her  husband,  Jean  Claude  Douet,  an 
ex-noble  and  Farmer-General,  was  placed  among  the 
accused  and  guillotined  along  with  them.^ 

On  the  26th  of  Floreal,  Freteau  (Emmanuel  Marie  Michel 
Phihppe),  ex-Councillor  of  theParlement  of  Paris,  was  brought 
before  the  Tribunal  among  a  "  batch  "  of  prisoners,  and 
acquitted,  but  detained  in  prison.  Fouquier  caused  him  to 
appear  again  before  the  Tribunal  on  the  26th  of  Prairial 
when  he  was  condemned  to  death.  This  affair  will  be  dealt 
with  in  the  following  chapter. 

'■  Archives  Nationales,  W.  365,   dossier  309. 

E 


66  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

The  connection  between  the  Committee  of  Pubhc  Safety, 
the  Revolutionary  Tribunal,  and  the  Prosecutor  became 
closer  and  closer.  The  popular  tribunals  and  commis- 
sions sent  every  day  to  the  Committee  of  Public  Safety  a  list 
of  all  the  judgments  given,  so  that  the  Committee  might 
identify  the  persons  tried  and  the  nature  of  the  cases.  At 
the  beginning  of  each  decade  ^  the  Prosecutor  sent  in  a  memo- 
randum of  the  business  which  he  proposed  to  bring  before 
the  Tribunal  in  the  course  of  the  decade.  Masses  of 
papers  arrived  daily.  The  "  nature  "  of  some  allowed  of  no 
delay,  "  owing  to  the  character  of  the  evidence."  On  the 
other  hand,  some  presented  "  obstacles."  The  former  went 
through  as  urgent ;  the  latter  waited.  Often  also  "  the 
business"  was  ready,  but  the  accused  persons  had  not  arrived 
from  the  provinces,  or  the  ushers  had  not  found  them  in 
the  prisons  of  Paris.  At  the  last  moment  Fouquier  filled 
up  the  vacancies  in  his  own  fashion  from  the  hst  approved 
of  by  the  Committee  of  Pubhc  Safety,  and  thus  caused 
terrible  blunders.  But  the  important  thing  was  that  the 
Tribunal  must  not  be  idle. 

The  indefatigable  Public  Prosecutor  coped  with  this 
crushing  task.  Every  day  eighty  to  ninety  letters  left  his 
office. 2  Thierriet-Grandpre,  a  witness  who  came  forward 
to  give  evidence  at  Fouquier-Tinville's  trial,  saw  "  a  heap 
of  letters  and  memoranda  addressed  to  him  by  accused 
persons,  which  he  neglected  to  open  and  which  he  took  into 
his  office  without  breaking  the  seals."  Those  letters  can  be 
read  to-day  by  anyone  who  looks  through  the  papers  of  the 
Revolutionary  Tribunal  among  the  Archives.  Poor  old 
papers,  moving  and  pathetic,  pages  for  the  most  part 
dictated  by  anguish,  yet  in  a  respectful  or  flattering  tone, 
or  a  touch  of  familiar  sans-culottisme !  Most  of  them 
plead  on  behalf  of  their  writers.  Some  intercede  for  a 
husband   or   a  wife  ;    some  want   to  know  the  prison  in 

1  In  the  Revolutionary  Calendar  a  period  of  ten  days,  called  a 
decade,  was  substituted  for  the  week  of  seven  days. — Tr. 

'  Fouquier's  declaration  at  his  trial.  Buchez  and  Roux,  XXXIV., 
p.  310. 


A    TERRIBLE    CORRESPONDENCE  67 

which  there  is  some  dear  one  who  has  been  arrested.  Some 
hideous  letters  grovel  and  lodge  informations.  Some  ask 
for  places.  Some  are  from  prisoners  who  are  ill  and  beg 
for  attention.  Some,  such  as  those  of  Claire  Tabouillot  and 
of  Barbe  Henry,  the  young  girls  of  Verdun  who  were  con- 
demned to  twenty  years'  detention,  but  who  escaped  death, 
express  "  eternal  gratitude  "  to  Fouquier  ;  but  at  the  same 
time  they  entreat  the  Public  Prosecutor  to  give  orders  for 
their  repatriation.  One  feels  that  they  are  still  far  from  being 
reassured.  A  certain  number  appeal  to  Fouquier's  humanity, 
but  in  a  tone  that  recalls  Chabot's  prayer  to  Robespierre 
on  the  4th  of  Frimaire,  from  the  Luxembourg  prison  :  "  You 
who  love  patriots,  deign  to  remember  that  you  have  num- 
bered me  on  their  hst."  Finally,  some  are  full  of  sincere 
cordiahty  towards  the  man  who  has  done  them  a  service. 

Evidently,  the  Pubhc  Prosecutor  had  not  time  to  read 
all  those  letters  or  to  answer  them.  His  day's  work 
would  not  permit  it.  Every  evening  he  went  to  the 
Committees  of  General  Security  and  of  Public  Safety. 
Sometimes  he  did  not  get  home  until  five  o'clock  in  the 
morning.  Very  often  he  had  not  three  hours'  sleep,  and, 
in  order  that  he  might  be  at  his  post  without  delay,  a  decree 
of  the  2nd  of  Prairial  granted  him  a  suite  of  rooms  in  the 
Palace  of  Justice.^ 

*  Archives  Nationales,  AF.  22,  dossier  69,  p.  90. 


CHAPTER   III 

FOUQUIER-TINVILLE  AND  THE  CONSPIRACIES  IN  THE  PRISONS 

ON  the  4th  of  Prairial  in  the  year  II.,  at  half-past 
one  o'clock  in  the  morning,  as  he  was  going  up 
the  staircase  into  his  dwelHng,  No.  4,  Rue  Favart, 
Deputy  CoUot  d'Herbois  found  himself  confronted 
by  a  man  who  attacked  him,  shouting  out :  "  This  is  your 
last  hour !  "  and  two  pistol  shots  were  fired  at  him.  The 
first  missed  fire.  Collot,  throwing  himself  backward,  avoided 
the  second.  His  walking-stick  fell.  He  leant  down  to  pick 
it  up.  The  man  bounded  upstairs.  A  door  closed  on  the 
sixth  floor.     It  was  there  that  the  assailant  lodged. 

The  Deputy's  housekeeper,  Suzanne  Prevot,  who,  when 
she  heard  her  master  knock,  had  come  down  with  a  light, 
was  standing,  candle  in  hand,  in  front  of  the  door  of  the  flat, 
on  the  fourth  floor,  ready  to  open  the  outer  door.  She  saw  a 
man  pass  by  her,  with  a  pistol  in  each  hand,  which  he  kept 
lowered  close  to  his  thighs.  She  heard  the  cry  and  the  report 
of  the  pistol.  She  rushed  into  the  flat,  opened  a  window, 
and  shouted  into  the  courtyard  :  "It  is  Admiral !  " 

The  outer  door  of  the  house  remained  open.  Collot 
d'Herbois  shouted  into  the  night,  "  Help,  they  are  shooting 
me  I  "  A  patrol  of  the  Lepelletier  Section  was  passing  through 
the  square  in  front  of  the  theatre. ^  The  citizens  saw  the 
Representative  of  the  people,  bare-headed  and  gesticulating. 
Immediately  three  of  these  brave  men  entered  the  house 
and  resolutely  climbed  the  stairs.  They  were  neighbours, 
belonging  to  the  Rue  Favart  station,  Nicolas  Eloi  Horgne, 
an  architect  and  corporal  of  the  guard;  Frangois  Bion,  a 
barber  ;   and  Geffroy,  a  locksmith. 

The  man  was  barricaded  in  his  room,  and  heard  them  com- 
1  The  National  Op^ra-Comique. 
68 


AN    ATTEMPTED    ASSASSINATION  69 

ing  to  arrest  him.  He  shouted  :  "  Come  on,  scoundrels, 
and  I  will  kill  you."  They  struck  at  his  door.  CoUot 
d'Herbois  went  up  with  them,  and,  as  he  wanted  to  go  in  first, 
armed  with  a  sabre  that  a  volunteer  had  lent  him,  Citizen 
Geffroy  prevented  him.  He  seized  him  by  the  arm,  and 
said  to  him  :  "I  order  you,  in  the  name  of  the  people,  to 
remain  here.  I  shall  either  perish  or  place  the  assassin  in 
the  hands  of  the  Section.  When  virtues  are  the  order  of 
the  day,  the  first  thing  to  do  and  doubtless  the  most  useful 
to  the  country  is  to  relieve  the  soil  of  liberty  of  such  a 
monster." 

The  door  opened.  A  shot  was  fired.  Geffroy,  the  lock- 
smith, was  struck  by  a  bullet,  which  passed  through  his 
right  shoulder.  The  assailant  was  overpowered  and  led  to 
the  pohce-station  in  the  Rue  Favart,  where  he  was  searched. 
In  his  pockets  were  found  three  bad  coins,  two  of  two  sous, 
•one  of  one  sou,  four  leaden  bullets  wrapped  in  two  pieces 
of  paper,  one  of  them  being  a  pass  dated  the  27th  of 
Ventose,  made  out  in  the  name  of  Admiral,  and  a  pair 
of  spectacles. 

A  small,  solidly-built  man  with  a  stern  face,  he  was 
perfectly  calm.     "  There  was  austerity  in  his  attitude."  ^ 

His  answers  were  clear,  and  given  in  a  firm  tone,  in  the 
cheerful,  musical  accent  of  his  province.  He  came  from  the 
Puy-de-D6me,  and  was  a  native  of  Auzolette  in  the  Issoire 
district.  His  name  was  Henri  Admiral,  "  a  former  employee 
in  the  former  lotteries." 

On  the  previous  day  he  had  waited  for  four  hours  at  the 
Committee  of  Public  Safety  to  assassinate  Robespierre. 
Not  being  successful  in  this,  he  had  determined  to  assassinate 
Collot  d'Herbois.  He  was  very  sorry  that  he  had  failed.  It 
would  have  been  a  fine  day's  work  for  him.  All  France 
would  have  admired  him.  He  regretted  that  he  paid  ninety 
Itvres  for  a  pair  of  pistols  that  missed  fire. 

Fouquier-Tinville  was  informed  at  once,  and  immediately 
sent  to  Dumas,  the  President  of  the  Tribunal,  the  following 
letter  : — 

1  Archives  Nationales,  W.  389,  dossier  904. 


70  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

"  Paris,   this  4th  of  Prairial  of  the  Second  Year  of  the 

RepubHc,    one   and   indivisible. 

"  Citizen  and  President, 

"  I  have  the  honour  to  send  to  the  Convention  a 
memorandum,  drawn  up  to-night,  which  states  that  a  man 
named  Admiral  conceived  the  frightful  project  of  assass- 
inating Citizens  Robespierre  and  Collot  d'Herbois  ;  that  all 
day  yesterday  he  traversed  the  terrace  of  the  Feuillants  and 
the  approaches  to  the  Committee  of  Public  Safety  in  order 
to  reach  Citizen  Robespierre  ;  that  about  half-past  one 
to-night,  as  he  lodged  in  the  same  house  as  Citizen 
Collot  d'Herbois,  this  madman  waited  on  the  staircase, 
and  at  the  moment  when  Citizen  Collot  d'Herbois  was  going 
up  to  his  flat,  fired  at  him  a  pistol  shot  which  happily 
miscarried  and  thus  saved  his  life. 

"  As  soon  as  I  was  informed  of  this  outrage,  I  had  the 
murderous  ruffian  brought  to  the  Conciergerie,  and  I  propose 
to  have  him  tried  to-morrow  at  two  o'clock.  Greeting  and 
fraternity. 

"  A.    Q.    FOUQUIER, 

"  Public  Prosecutor  of  the 

Revolutionary    Tribunal."  ^ 

At  nine  o'clock  in  the  morning,  Dumas,  accompanied 
by  Girard,  the  registrar's  clerk,  questioned  Admiral  at  the 
Palace  of  Justice.  The  prisoner  answered  simply  and  without 
evasion.  He  had  been  a  messenger  in  the  offices  of  the  royal 
lottery  ;  he  had  then  been  employed  in  Minister  Bertin's 
house.  He  had  served  in  Champagne  as  a  volunteer  in 
the  sixth  Paris  battalion.  He  had  left  the  Filles-Saint- 
Thomas  battalion.  Dumas  asked  him  who  had  given  him 
his  appointment  at  the  lottery.  It  was  the  Marquis  de 
Manzuy,  the  Emperor's  chamberlain  and  Director  of  the 
Brussels  lottery.  He  saw  him  for  the  last  time  on  October 
6,  1789,  with  his  wife,  on  the  road  from  Versailles  to  Paris. 
Why  had  he  brought  pistols  ?  For  the  crime  committed 
yesterday.  What  was  his  design  ?  To  assassinate  Collot 
^  Archives  Nationales,  W.  389,  dossier  904. 


ROBESPIERRE'S    ESCAPE  71 

d'Herbois  and  Robespierre.  He  had  carried  the  pistols 
for  three  days  in  order  to  use  them  at  the  first  opportunity. 
On  the  previous  day  he  had  gone  out  at  nine  o'clock  in 
the  morning.  He  had  gone  to  the  Rue  Saint-Honore,  and 
had  spoken  to  a  fruiterer,  asking  him  at  what  time  Robes- 
pierre went  to  the  Committee.  "  Ask  at  the  back  of  the 
courtyard.  He  lives  there,"  the  woman  had  answered.  He 
took  ten  steps  in  the  courtyard  and  met  a  volunteer  with 
his  arm  in  a  sling,  and  a  citizeness.  They  told  him  that 
Robespierre  was  engaged,  and  that  he  could  not  speak  to 
him.  He  went  away.  If  he  had  met  the  tyrant  he  would 
have  accomphshed  his  design. 

From  there  he  had  gone  to  Roulot's,  a  restaurant  at  the 
end  of  the  terrace  of  the  Feuillants,  where  he  had  lunched, 
and  then  to  the  Convention,  to  the  gallery.  He  had  fallen 
asleep  there.  At  the  end  of  the  sitting  he  had  stationed 
himself  in  the  gallery  that  leads  to  the  Committee  of  PubUc 
Safety.  Under  the  pretext  of  going  for  news,  he  had  gone 
to  the  outer  door  of  the  Committee,  where  he  had  waited  for 
Robespierre  in  order  to  assassinate  him.  It  was  in  vain. 
He  then  stationed  himself  in  the  vestibule  that  separates 
the  Hall  of  the  Convention  from  that  of  the  Committee. 
Some  deputies  passed  through.  He  asked  their  names. 
They  were  not  those  whom  he  sought.  He  then  went 
out. 

He  went  to  the  Cafe  Marie  and  to  the  Cafe  Gervoise, 
where  he  played  draughts  with  a  young  man.  He  supped 
at  Dufie's  eating-house  at  the  comer  of  the  Rue  Favart. 
At  eleven  o'clock  he  went  home.  He  waited  until  Collot 
d'Herbois  came  back.     The  rest  was  known. 

Dumas  asked  him  a  last  question  in  regard  to  the 
sums  of  money  "  over  and  above  his  known  resources  " 
which  he  had  paid  for  his  daily  expenses.  Those  sums,  he 
said,  were  the  result  of  his  savings  and  of  the  sale  of  his 
goods. ^ 

Without  losing  time  Dumas  drew  up  the  following 
note  : — 

1  Archives  Nationales,  W.  339,  dossier  904. 


72  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

"  Admiral's   Attempt. 

"  It  appears  that  the  affair  of  the  assailant  of  Robespierre 
and  Collot  d'Herbois  ought  to  be  investigated  in  the  follow- 
ing respects  : 

"I.  By  all  possible  means  to  drag  from  the  monster 
confessions  which  can  throw  hght  upon  the  conspiracies  ; 

"2.  To  consider  this  crime  in  its  relations  with  foreign 
countries  and  with  the  conspiracies  of  Hubert,  Danton,  and 
all  those  that  took  place  in  the  prisons  ; 

"3.  To  gain  information  as  to  his  relations  with  persons 
who  have  belonged  to  or  who  may  belong  to  the  conspiracies  ; 

"  4.  Especially  to  gain  information  concerning  the  places 
he  has  been  in  and  the  persons  he  has  associated  with  for 
the  past  fifteen  days,  and  of  the  conversations  in  which 
he  has  engaged ; 

"5.  To  gain  information  how  it  is  that,  being  fifty  years 
of  age  and  having  a  situation,  he  went  into  Champagne 
with  the  sixth  Paris  battalion  ;  how  he  behaved  there,  how 
and  why  he  left  the  said  battalion,  and  what  his  relations 
there  were  ; 

"  6.  Whether  he  had  been  a  guard  at  the  Temple,  and,  if  so, 
whether  anything  had  been  noticed  in  his  conduct  there  ; 

"7.  To  seek  to  discover  whence  the  pistols  came,  and  to 
know  why  a  gun  had  been  given  to  him  by  preference."  ^ 

An  actual  conspirator  had  thus  been  taken.  Admiral's  act 
belonged  to  the  vast  conspiracy  which  Dumas  and  Fouquier- 
Tinville  were  investigating.  He  was,  doubtless,  an  agent 
of  the  Foreigner,  along  with  de  Batz,  the  unseizable  de  Batz, 
the  terror  of  the  Committees ;  de  Batz  who  had  attempted 
to  save  Louis  XVI.  during  the  passage  from  the  Temple  to  the 
scaffold,  and  who  had  tried  to  bring  about  the  escape  of  Marie 
Antoinette  ;  de  Batz  who  at  the  height  of  the  Terror  walked 
about  Paris,  had  five  or  six  lodgings,  and,  when  they  came 
to  arrest  him,  had  gone  from  the  place  some  moments  before, 
leaving  his  bed  stiU  warm.^ 

1  The  gun  which  had  been  given  to  him  three  months  before  by 
his  captain  at  the  Lepelletier  Section. 

*  Campardon,  Le  Tribunal  Revolutionnaire,  I.,  p.  363. 


"PITT'S    GOLD"  73 

Collot  d'Herbois  had  been  brought  close  to  death  by  Pitt's 
gold  and  royalist  conspiracies.  But  "  the  destiny  of  the 
Republic  watched  over  his  life,"  as  Barere  said  to  the 
excited  and  cheering  members  of  the  Convention.  "  This 
time  we  have  not  to  deplore  the  loss  of  a  citizen  nor  to  open 
the  doors  of  the  Pantheon  .  .  .  d'Herbois,  the  people's 
representative,  is  amongst  you."  ^ 

That  same  evening,  whilst  Fouquier-Tinville,  after  a  day 
spent  in  investigations  among  the  persons  with  whom 
Admiral  associated,  was  studying  the  report  drawn  up  by 
two  commissioners  of  the  committee  of  surveillance  of  the 
Lepelletier  Section,  a  young  girl,  Cecile  Renault,  presented 
herself  at  the  house  of  Duplay,  the  carpenter,  where  Maxi- 
mihen  Robespierre  hved,  sajdng  that  she  had  been  three 
hours  looking  for  him. 

It  was  nine  o'clock.  Duplay's  eldest  daughter  answered 
that  the  Deputy  was  absent.  Cecile  Renault  showed  ill- 
humour  at  this,  and  took  an  offended  tone.  She  was  sur- 
prised that  he  was  not  at  home.  His  duty  as  a  public  offi- 
cial was  to  answer  all  those  who  came  to  see  him.  Suspicions 
were  aroused  ;  the  Committee  of  General  Security  was  not 
far  away,  and  she  was  taken  there.  On  the  way,  she  declared 
flatly  that  when  people  presented  themselves  at  the  King's 
dwelling  under  the  old  regime  they  were  allowed  to 
enter  at  once.  She  was  asked  if  she  would  prefer  to  have  a 
king.  She  answered  :  "I  want  a  king,  because  I  prefer 
one  tjnrant  to  fifty  thousand."  The  Committee  had  her 
searched.  There  were  found  on  her  only  two  small  knives 
with  tortoiseshell  and  ivory  handles  ;  but  she  spoke 
in  an  excited  fashion,  and  was  locked  up  in  the  Concier- 
gerie.2 

The  commissioners  of  the  section  immediately  went 
to  her  house.  Her  father  was  anxiously  awaiting  her. 
They  searched  the  young  girl's  room.  "  We  found  there," 
wrote  the  commissioners,  "  above  her  bed,  a  sort  of  banner 
on  which  is  printed  a  large  crown  surrounded  with  fleurs 

1  Moniteur  of  the  5th  Prairial,  year  II. 

*  Archives  Nationales,  W.  389,  dossier  904. 


74  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

de  lys  and  on  which  there  is  a  cross  of  silver  paper."    Renault, 
the  father,  and  all  his  family  were  arrested. 

While  investigations  regarding  the  conspiracy  were  being 
made,  Fouquier-Tinville  was  not  idle.  During  this  month  of 
Prairial  there  were  "  batches  "  to  be  put  on  trial,  "  batches  " 
that  had  come  from  the  Departments,  composed  of  people 
unacquainted  with  one  another,  aristocrats  and  sans-culottes, 
priests  and  ex-priests,  notaries,  notaries'  clerks,  traders, 
teachers,  workmen  and  workwomen,  accused  of  counter- 
revolutionary utterances  and  writings.  The  following  are 
some  examples  from  among  the  mass  of  those  accused. 

On  the  2nd  of  Prairial  it  was  a  teacher,  Gabriel 
Delignon,  who  had  received  an  anonymous  letter  com- 
promising him  in  a  conspiracy,  and  who  had  brought  it 
to  the  Commune.  Death. ^ — On  the  3rd,  a  notary,  Jarzoufflet, 
who  had  no  confidence  in  the  assignats  (paper-money),  and 
who  had  known  a  priest.  Death. ^ — On  the  4th  of  Prairial,  the 
day  of  Admiral's  attempts,  it  was  the  woman  Costard,  who 
in  despair  at  the  fate  of  Boyer-Brun  whom  she  loved,  had 
given  utterance  to  her  grief  in  a  letter  to  the  Committee  of 
General  Security,  ending  with  these  words  :  "  Strike,  since 
I  have  lost  my  lover ;  end  a  life  that  is  odious  to  me  and  that 
I  cannot  endure  without  horror.  Long  live  the  King ! 
Long  live  the  King  !  Do  not  believe  that  I  am  mad  ;  I 
am  not  ;  I  believe  everything  that  you  have  just  read,  and 
I  sign  it  with  my  blood."  Death.^ — On  the  6th  of  Prairial, 
a  fishmonger,  his  wife,  and  a  washerwoman,  Catherine 
Perard,  were  condemned  to  death.  The  two  women  were 
drunk  and  shouted,  "  Long  live  the  King  !  "  They  were 
held  to  be  aristocrats,  althc^gh,  according  to  Judge  Masson's 
expression,  "  their  external  appearance  was  thoroughly 
sans-culotte."  ^  On  the  8th  of  Prairial,  it  was  a  dentist  who 
said  that  he  occupied  himself  with  nothing  but  his  business, 
and  did  not  know  what  the  National  Convention  was.   Death. 

1  Archives  Nationales,  W.  369,  No.  824. 

2  Archives  Nationales,  W.  370,  No.  832. 
'  Archives  Nationales,  W.  374,  No.  835 
*  Archives  Nationales,  W.  372,  No.  840. 


THE    REVOLUTIONARY    CONSTITUTION       75 

— A  navvy  who  shouted  out,  "  Long  live  the  King  !  Long 
live  the  Queen  !  "  ^  etc.,  etc. 

On  the  6th  of  Prairial,  CoUot  d'Herbois  and  Robespierre 
appeared  at  the  Jacobin  Club.  There  was  a  prolonged 
ovation,  and  they  were  welcomed  "  with  transport."  As 
soon  as  they  entered  the  hall,  "  all  eyes  were  fixed  on  those 
precious  men  ;  all  hearts  leaped  at  once  ;  cheers  of  the 
keenest  joy  proved  to  them  the  amount  of  interest  they 
inspired.  .  .  .  The  God  of  free  men  watched  over 
them.  .  .  .  The  people  had  not  to  shed  tears  on  their 
funeral  urns."  Robespierre  spoke.  "  I  am  one  of  those 
whom  the  events  that  have  taken  place  should  interest  least ; 
it  is  not,  however,  possible  for  me  to  refrain  from  deahng 
with  them  in  their  relation  to  the  public  interest.  .  .  . 
Frenchmen !  friends  of  equality  !  leave  it  to  us  to  employ  the 
small  amount  of  Ufe  that  Providence  grants  us  in  fighting  the 
enemies  that  surround  us.  We  swear  by  the  daggers  stained 
with  the  blood  of  the  martyrs  of  the  Revolution  and 
recently  sharpened  against  ourselves,  to  exterminate  to  the 
last  those  scoundrels  who  would  rob  us  of  happiness  and 
liberty."  2 

To  "  the  plots  of  the  Foreigner,"  Robespierre  replied  by 
the  law  of  the  22nd  of  Prairial  (June  10,  1794). 

After  having  heard  the  report  of  the  paralysed  Couthon, 
"  gentle  in  face  and  in  language,"  the  instrument  of  the 
Committee  of  Public  Safety,  the  National  Convention 
resolved  : 

"  Article  L — There  shall  be  in  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal 
a  President  and  three  Vice-Presidents,  a  Public  Prosecutor, 
four  deputies  for  the  Public  Prosecutor,  and  twelve  judges. 

"  Article  II. — The  jurors  shall  be  fifty  in  number. 

"  Article  III. — These  various  functions  shall  be  exercised 
by  the  citizens  whose  names  follow  :  Dumas,  President ; 
Coffinhal,  Scellier,  Naulin,  Vice-Presidents ;  Fouquier- 
Tinville,  Public  Prosecutor ;  his  four  deputies ;  twelve 
judges,  and  fifty  jurors. 

1  Archives  Nationales,  W.   373.  No.  843. 
*  Moniteur,    loth   of   Prairial,    year   II. 


76  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

"  Article  IV. — The  Revolutionary  Tribunal  has  been 
established  to  punish  the  enemies  of  the  people. 

"  Article  V. — The  enemies  of  the  people  are  those  who 
seek  to  destroy  pubhc  liberty,  either  by  force  or  fraud. 

"  Article  VI. — Those  are  to  be  regarded  as  enemies  of  the 
people  who  shall  promote  the  re-establishment  of  royalty, 
or  seek  to  degrade  the  National  Convention  and  the  revolu- 
tionary and  repubhcan  government  of  which  it  is  the  centre, 
etc. 

"  Article  VII. — The  punishment  for  all  offences  that  come 
\^dthin  the  scope  of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal  is  death. 

"  Article  IX. — Every  citizen  has  a  right  to  seize  con- 
spirators and  counter-revolutionists,  and  to  bring  them  before 
the  magistrates  ;  he  is  bound  to  inform  against  them  as 
soon  as  he  knows  them. 

"  Article  XVI. — The  law  gives  patriotic  jurors  as  defenders 
to  patriots  ;   it  does  not  grant  them  to  conspirators."  ^ 

In  reality,  there  were  to  be  no  more  preliminary  investiga- 
tions, no  more  examinations,  no  more  pleadings.  The 
accused  were  to  be  at  the  mercy  of  the  jurors.  And  it  is 
known  what  the  jurors  were.  Furthermore,  not  only  were 
the  accused  refused  a  hearing  at  the  preliminary  investiga- 
tion before  the  trial,  but  they  were  not  even  to  be  examined 
at  the  pubhc  hearing  of  the  case.  As  an  example,  there  was 
a  case  on  the  6th  of  Messidor  when  three  young  Bretons 
of  the  Quimper  district.  Perron,  Toupin,  and  Thomas 
Andre,  were  suspected  of  having  amused  themselves  by 
cutting  down  the  tree  of  liberty  at  Banalec,  on  the  day  in 
October,  1793,  on  which  they  were  summoned  to  join  the 
colours.  There  was  no  real  evidence  against  them.  Mathieu 
Toupin  and  Corentin  Perron  were  condemned  to  two  years' 
deportation,  Thomas  Andre  to  a  year's  imprisonment  by  the 
Quimper  tribunal.  The  moderation  of  these  sentences  was 
denounced  to  the  Minister  of  Justice  at  Paris.  The  prisoners 
were  sent  before  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal  by  decree  of 
the  Convention. 

They  were  condemned  to  death.  The  official  report  of 
1  Moniteur,  24th  Prairial,  year  II. 


FOUQUIER'S    RECKLESSNESS  ^^ 

the  trial  contains  these  words  written  by  the  registrar's 
clerk  :  "  Note  :  It  has  been  impossible  to  get  the  exact 
names  of  Perron,  Andre,  and  Toupin,  because  they  were 
from  Lower  Brittany  and  there  were  no  interpreters."  ^ 
This  requires  no  comment. 

Fouquier's  task  was  not  simplified  by  the  law  of  the 
month  of  Prairial.  On  the  contrary,  the  mass  of  conspira- 
tors who  had  to  be  brought  to  trial  increased  to  such  an 
extent  that  the  Pubhc  Prosecutor,  forced  to  act  quickly, 
no  longer  knew  which  way  to  turn.  He  would  go  into  the 
office  of  the  ushers  whose  duty  it  was  to  fetch  the  accused 
from  the  prisons,  shouting  and  swearing,  smashing  the 
portfolios,  threatening  and  frightening  everybody.  "  If 
you  don't  make  haste,  I  will  lock  you  up.  I  will  have  you 
locked  up,"  he  would  exclaim,  and  then  shout  out  insults. 
Late  in  the  evening  after  dinner  the  trembling  clerks  pointed 
out  to  him  that  they  had  not  time  to  transcribe  and  serve  all 
the  indictments  that  he  had  ordered  them  to  copy  for  the  next 
morning.  "  Do  as  you  like  !  "  he  would  answer.  "  There 
wiU  always  be  enough  of  them !  Make  haste  !  Things 
must  move  !  "  If  the  indictments  were  signed  by  him  alone, 
and  not  by  the  judges,  his  clerks  would  point  this  out  to  him. 
"Go  on,"  was  the  reply,  "their  signatures  shall  be  obtained."  ^ 

At  first  Fouquier  had  drawn  up  the  indictments  himself 
or  in  co-operation  with  his  deputies.  Then  he  had  employed 
a  clerk,  and  finally  two.  As  the  number  of  conspirators 
increased  the  more  they  were  guillotined,  Fouquier  became 
too  much  occupied,  and  left  the  task  of  drawing  up  the 
indictments  to  his  clerks.^  He  contented  himself  with 
signing  his  name  at  the  bottom  of  each  page,  adding 
some  words  on  the  margin  or  rectifying  the  text  here 
and  there.  This  is  why  we  can  prove  to-day  (his  deputy 
Cambon  did  so  at  Fouquier's  trial)  that  these  indict- 
ments are  full  of  spaces  between  the  lines,  erasures, 
unauthorised    commitments,    and   blank    spaces    intended 

^  Archives  Nationales,  W.  395,  No.  916,  and  part,  p.  78, 
^  Contat's  evidence  at  Fouquier's  trial. 
»  Toutain's  evidence  at  Fouquier's  trial. 


78  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

for  the  names  of  a  greater  number  of  victims,  and  that  no 
trouble  had  been  taken  to  cancel  these.  Names  of  accused 
persons  had  been  added,  in  a  strange  hand,  to  the  indict- 
ments after  they  were  drawn  up.  It  is  enough  to  open  some 
of  the  bundles  of  papers  relating  to  the  Tribunal  for  the 
period  comprised  between  the  22nd  of  Prairial  and  the  9th 
of  Thermidor  to  be  convinced  of  all  this. 

These  documents  were  served  on  the  interested  parties 
only  the  day  before  the  trial.  Fouquier  did  not  deny  this  at 
the  time  of  his  own  trial.  He  said  that  he  always  gave 
orders  to  serve  the  writs  of  indictment  in  the  evening. 
Chateau,  his  former  secretary,  contradicted  him  on  this 
point,  saying  :  "It  often  happened  that  at  nine  o'clock 
in  the  evening  we  did  not  know  the  names  of  those  who 
would  be  put  on  trial  the  next  day.  How  could  we  give 
them  their  writs  of  indictment  that  evening  ?  "  ^ 

At  the  hearing,  the  accused  were  not  given  time  to  speak. 
And  there  was  no  one  to  defend  them,  for  lawyers  had  no 
longer  a  right  to  do  so.  The  President  would  ask  a  prisoner  : 
' '  Did  you  do  such  and  such  a  thing  ?  ' '  On  his  negative 
or  affirmative  reply,  the  President  would  say:  "Next." 
If  the  prisoner  insisted,  Dumas  or  Cofifinhal  shouted  at  him. 
"  You  have  no  right  to  say  any  more.  You  have  no  right 
to  say  any  more."  ^  In  order  to  exonerate  himself  Fouquier 
said  :  "  That  was  the  President's  business,  that  did  not 
concern  me.  I  have  pointed  out  several  times  to  Dumas 
and  Coffinhal  that  they  did  not  give  the  accused  enough 
latitude.  I  have  had  altercations  with  Dumas  on  this 
subject."  But  at  Fouquier' s  trial,  Berthaut,^  registrar  of 
the  Tribunal  of  the  Theatre-Francais  Section,  deposed  that 
at  the  hearing  of  the  affair  relating  to  the  conspiracy  in  the 
Carmelite  prison,  the  Public  Prosecutor  (who  was  sitting 
that  day)  said  to  a  witness  for  the  defence  :  "  Are  not  you 
and  the  prisoner  both  of  the  same  Section  ?  "  "  Yes." 
Then  Fouquier  rejoined  vehemently  :    "I  have  something 

'  Chateau's  evidence  at  Fouquier's  trial. 
*  Brunet's  evidence  at  Fouquier's  trial. 
^  Berthaut's  evidence  on  the  2nd  of  Germinal  in  the  year  III. 


AQUITTAL    A    PUBLIC    CALAMITY  79 

against  you.  You  are  of  the  same  Section.  You  stand  up 
for  one  another."  And  he  prevented  the  witness  from 
being  heard  further. 

The  law  of  the  month  of  Prairial  had  hardly  been  passed, 
when  Fouquier,  acting  on  the  suggestion  of  Vadier,  a  member 
of  the  Committee  of  General  Security,  brought  to  trial 
eleven  inhabitants  of  Pamiers,  among  whom  were  the  two 
Darmaings  (John  Pierre  Jerome,  a  lawyer,  and  Frangois, 
an  ex-King's- Advocate).  Vadier  came  originally  from 
Pamiers.  He  had  a  personal  grudge  against  his  compatriots. 
One  of  them,  Cazes,  had  refused  his  daughter  to  Vadier's 
son.  In  two  letters,  one  of  the  4th  of  Prairial  and  the  other 
of  the  7th,  Vadier  had  expressed  to  Fouquier  the  hope  that 
they  would  be  condemned.  ("I  point  out  to  you  that,  if  by 
any  ill-fortune  those  men  could  be  acquitted,  it  would  be 
a  public  calamity.")  The  inhabitants  of  Pamiers  were 
condemned  to  death  on  the  23rd  of  Prairial  (June  11).  ^ 

On  the  26th  of  Prairial  (June  14)  a  "  batch  "  of  thirty 
Parhamentarians  from  Paris  and  Toulouse, ^  appeared  before 
the  Tribunal  for  having,  on  September  25  and  27,  1789,  pro- 
tested against  the  Acts  of  the  National  Assembly  relating  to 
the  Parlements.  There  were  no  incriminating  documents 
and  no  witnesses.  The  memorials  drawn  up  by  the  prisoners 
had  been  left  by  Fouquier  among  the  papers  in  the  registrar's 
office.  He  had  taken  no  account  of  them.  All  were 
condemned.  Among  them  was  Freteau,  an  ex-Councillor 
of  the  Parlement  of  Paris,  who  had  been  acquitted  on  the 
27th  of  Floreal.  Fouquier  had  again  seized  him  and  sent 
him  for  trial.  "  Freteau,"  say  Fouquier's  pleadings  for  the 
prosecution,  "has  shown  himself  to  be  an  enemy  of  the 
people  whose  representative  he  was,  and  he  has  violated  the 
laws,  whose  observance  is  of  the  utmost  importance  to  the 
Empire,  by  confiding  his  son's  education  to  a  conspirator, 
to  one  of  those  men  animated  by  the  most  cruel  fanaticism, 
who  had  refused  to  take  the  oath  due  from  every  citizen 

'  Archives  Nationales,   W.   383,   dossier  891.      Among  the  con- 
demned persons  there  was  one,  Larue,  who  was  not  even  examined. 
*  W.    386,    dossier    897. 


8o  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

to  the  government  under  which  he  Uves."  ^  At  the  time 
of  his  trial  Fouquier  was  rigorously  taken  to  task  on  the 
subject  of  Freteau.     It  will  be  seen  how  he  defended  himself. 

On  the  29th  of  Prairial  (June  17)  Admiral,  Cecile  Renault, 
her  father,  her  brother,  her  aunt,  and  forty-nine  other 
prisoners  were  brought  before  the  Tribunal.  AU  were  con- 
victed of  having  made  themselves  "  the  enemies  of  the  people 
by  participating  in  the  conspiracy  of  the  foreigner,  and  at- 
tempting, by  assassination,  famine,  the  fabrication  and  intro- 
duction of  forged  paper-money  {assignats)  and  base  coin,  the 
depravation  of  morality  and  public  spirit,  and  insurrections 
in  the  prisons,  to  promote  civil  war,  to  dissolve  the  national 
representation,  to  re-establish  royalty,  or  any  other  tyran- 
nical domination."  The  hearing  lasted  only  three  hours. ^ 
The  Tribunal  condemned  them  all  to  the  punishment  of 
death,  conformably  with  Articles  5,6,  and  7  of  the  law  of  the 
22nd  of  Prairial,  which  it  caused  to  be  read  to  them.  All  were 
to  be  brought  to  the  place  of  execution  and  put  on  the  scaffold 
clothed  in  red  shirts,  as  assassins  of  the  Representatives  of  the 
people.  Yet  only  one  of  them  had  committed  an  attempt 
at  assassination. 

The  execution  of  the  fifty-four,  who  have  been  called  the 
"  red  shirts,"  took  place  at  four  o'clock  in  the  evening  at  the 
Barrier  of  Vincennes.^ 

Excluding  Admiral,  the  fifty-three  others  who  were  con- 
demned might  be  regarded  as  conspirators,  not  as  assassins. 
Why  did  Fouquier  inflict  on  them  the  indignity  of  the  red 
shirt  ?  At  his  own  trial  he  answered  this  question.  "  Be- 
cause the  sentence  so  provided,"  he  said.  But  Cambon, 
the  Public  Prosecutor's  deputy,  denied  this,  and  pro- 
duced the  sentence.     Fouquier  continued  :    "I  claim  that 

*  A  priest  who  had  not  taken  the  oath  to  the  Civil  Constitution  of 
the  Clergy.   W.  386,  dossier  897,  p.  135. 

"  Fouquier  says  five  hours,  but  he  was  not  sitting. 

*  On  the  2ist  of  Prairial,  the  day  following  that  of  the  Festival  of 
the  Supreme  Being,  the  guillotine  had  been  transported  from  the 
Place  de  la  Revolution  to  the  Place  Sainte-Antoine  in  front  of  the  site 
occupied  by  the  old  Bastille.  On  the  26th,  at  the  request  of  the 
inhabitants  of  the  district,  it  was  transported  to  the  Barrier  of  Vin- 
cennes. 


THE    AFFAIR    OF    THE    RED    SHIRTS         8i 

this  is  a  mistake  of  the  registrar,  for  that  was  the  sentence 
pronounced."  He  was  contradicted  by  Hamy,  an  ex- judge 
of  the  Tribunal,  charged  along  with  him  :  "  I  point  out  that 
the  Tribunal  did  not  pronounce  that  sentence.  I  was 
astonished  when  I  heard  the  order  to  have  red  shirts  made, 
I  made  some  remarks  about  it,  but  was  told  it  had  nothing 
to  do  with  me." 

In  reaUty,  it  was  the  Committee  of  PubUc  Safety  that  had 
given  this  order  to  Fouquier-Tinville. 

The  affair  of  "  the  red  shirts  "  has  often  been  related, 
and  this  is  not  the  place  to  return  to  it.  Let  us  only  note  that 
it  is  sufficient  to  examine  the  list  of  accused  persons  to  have 
an  idea  of  the  strange  "  mixture  "  compounded  by  Fouquier. 
Admiral,  the  man  of  Auvergne,  rubs  shoulders  with  people 
of  all  conditions  whom  he  certainly  had  never  seen,  such  as 
Madame  de  Sainte-Amaranthe,  her  daughter,  her  son,  and 
the  Comte  de  Fleury.  The  latter  had  been  imprisoned  in 
the  Luxembourg.  There  had  been  no  question  of  an  in- 
vestigation into  his  case.  He  went  into  the  dock  and  was 
condemned  for  having  written,  on  that  day,  the  famous 
letter  to  Dumas  :  "  Courage,  men  of  blood,  invent  conspira- 
cies in  order  to  send  to  the  scaffold  the  remnant  of  honest 
men  who,  having  nothing  with  which  to  reproach  themselves, 
have  remained  passive  beneath  your  blows.  AU  my  friends 
or  intimate  acquaintances,  the  Prince  de  Rohan,  Bossan- 
court,  Marsan,  d'Hauteville,  Lecuyer,  etc.,  conspirators ! 
if  ever  they  could  have  been  that,  join  my  name  to  theirs. 
Having  always  shared  their  opinions  and  their  mode  of  Ufe, 
I  ought  to  undergo  the  same  fate.  You  tremble,  souls  of 
mud,  when  you  meet  magnanimous  courage  which,  fearing 
nothing,  reproaches  you  in  crying  tones  for  the  crimes  of 
which  you  make  yourselves  guilty  every  day,  by  pronouncing 
judgments  dictated  by  hatred  and  vengeance.  Tremble, 
vile  monsters,  the  moment  is  coming  when  you  shall  expiate 
your  crimes.  Signed  :  The  ex-Comte  de  Fleury,  a  prisoner 
in  the  Luxembourg."  Dumas  had  shown  this  letter  to 
Fouquier,  saying :  "  Look  here !  read  this  billet  doux, 
I  believe  this  fine  gentleman  is  in  a  hurry."     "  Yes,"  Fou- 


82  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

qiiier  had  answered,  "  he  seems  to  me  to  be  m  a  hurry,  and 
I  am  going  to  send  for  him."  He  did  send  for  him,  and 
the  Comte  de  Fleury  was  guillotined  the  same  day. 

This  study  is  concerned  with  the  responsibility  incurred 
by  Fouquier-Tinville  as  Public  Prosecutor,  and  not  with  the 
history  of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal.  It  is  not  necessary  to 
give  here  as  full  an  account  of  the  affair  called  ' '  the  conspira- 
cies in  the  prisons  "  as  a  complete  statement  of  the  matter 
would  require.  In  the  second  part  of  this  study  the  deposi- 
tions made  in  the  inquiry  after  Thermidor  will  be  repro- 
duced from  the  original  papers  preserved  among  the  National 
Archives,  and  as  the  general  effect  of  those  depositions  will 
enable  us  to  understand  Fouquier's  activity  in  a  vivid  and 
striking  manner,  it  seems  sufficient  to  say  here,  in  a  few 
pages,  what  those  conspiracies  were,  and  what  part  was 
reserved  for  the  Public  Prosecutor  by  his  chiefs. 

At  the  beginning  of  Messidor  there  were  in  Paris  forty 
houses  of  detention, 1  all  of  which  were  full.  As  new  prisoners 
came  continually  from  the  Departments,  it  was  necessary  to 
find  accommodation  for  them.  Room  was  made  by  empty- 
ing the  Paris  prisons  of  some  "  lots  "  of  prisoners  who  were 
sent  to  the  Conciergerie,  then  to  the  Tribunal,  and  then  to 
the  scaffold.  For  this  a  motive,  a  pretext,  was  found  in  the 
Conspiracy  of  the  Foreigner  which  gave  rise  to,  ist,  the 
Conspiracy  in  Bic^tre  (two  "  batches,"  one  of  37  prisoners, 

1  M.  Wallon  gives,  following  Proussinalle  {Histoire  Secrete  du 
Tribunal  Revolutionnaire,  I.,  p.  298),  the  list  of  the  Paris  prisons : 
La  Grande  Force,  la  Petite  Force,  Sainte-Pelagie,  les  Madelonnettes, 
I'Abbaye,  les  Capucins,  Bicetre,  la  Salpetriere,  la  Mairie,  le  Luxem- 
bourg, la  Bourbe,  la  Caserne,  Rue  de  Vaugirard,  Picpus,  les  Anglaises, 
Rue  de  Lourcine,  les  Anglaises,  Faubourg  Sainte-Antoine,  les 
Ecossais,  Saint-Lazare,  la  maison  Belhomme,  les  Benedictins  Anglais, 
le  College  du  Plessis,  la  maison  de  Repression,  la  maison  Coignard, 
la  maison  Mallay,  les  Fermes,  la  caserne  des  Petits-Peres,  la  caserne. 
Rue  de  Sevres,  la  maison  des  Oiseaux,  la  caserne  des  Carmes,  le 
College  des  Quatre-Nations,  Montaigu,  Port-Royal,  maison  Escour- 
biac,  Hotel  Talaru,  Vincennes,  maison  Lachapelle,  Hospice  de 
I'Eveche,  maison  Brunet,  les  Anglaises,  Rue  Saint-Victor,  maison 
Picquenot,  Rue  de  Bercy,  and  la  Conciergerie.  One  ought  to  add 
the  depots  in  the  forty-eight  sections.  (Wallon  ;  Tribunal  Revolu- 
tionnaire, IV.,  p.  263.) 


THE    PRISON    CONSPIRACIES  83 

tried  on  the  28th  of  Floreal,  the  other  of  37,  tried  on  the  8th 
of  Messidor)  ;  2nd,  the  Conspiracy  in  the  Luxembourg  (four 
"  batches,"  the  first  of  60  prisoners,  tried  on  the  19th  of  Mes- 
sidor in  the  Year  II.,  the  second  of  50  prisoners,  tried  on  the 
2ist,  the  third  of  46,  tried  on  the  22nd,  and  the  fourth  of 
18,  tried  on  the  4th  of  Thermidor)  ;  3rd,  the  Conspiracy  in 
the  Carmehte  prison  (49  prisoners,  tried  on  the  5th  of  Thermi- 
dor) ;  4th,  the  Conspiracy  in  Saint-Lazare  (three  "  batches," 
the  first  of  25  prisoners,  tried  on  the  6th  of  Thermidor,  the 
second  of  26,  tried  on  the  7th  of  Thermidor,  and  the  third 
of  25,  tried  on  the  8th  of  Thermidor).  There  were,  finally, 
on  the  9th  of  Thermidor,  25  prisoners  at  the  hearing  pre- 
sided over  by  Dumas,  and  23  at  that  presided  over  by 
ScelHer.  We  can  see  clearly  now  that  the  idea  of  these 
conspiracies  was  nothing  but  a  most  outrageous  fabrica- 
tion. 

Their  true  fomenters  and  agents  were  the  prison  spies — 
Valagnos,  Beausire,  Benoit,  Boyaval,  Dupaumier,  Verney, 
Guyard,  Manini,  Coquery,  Jobert  (the  Belgian),  and  some 
others.  In  the  second  part  of  this  study  it  will  be  seen  that 
Fouquier  had  relations  with  those  scoundrels.  A  good  deal 
of  evidence  given  at  his  trial  agrees  in  saying  that  he  made 
use  of  them,  that  he  encouraged  them.  They  were  his 
auxiliaries  and  those  of  the  Committee  of  General  Security. 

It  was  Valagnos  who  invented  the  Bic^tre  conspiracy. 
Valagnos  was  an  ex-house-painter,  and  ex-member  of  the 
Revolutionary  Committee  of  the  Chalier  Section.  He  had 
been  condemned  to  twelve  years  in  chains  for  dishonesty  in 
performing  his  duties  as  a  commissioner  of  clothing.  He 
had  been  imprisoned  at  Bicetre.  He  confided  to  one  of  his 
fellow-prisoners  1  that  he  had  "  discovered  a  conspiracy,  and 
hoped  that  this  would  shorten  his  twelve  years  in  chains." 
In  a  first  letter  to  his  former  committee,  he  denounced  some 
prisoners  who  were  convicts  like  himself.  He  represented 
them  as  determined  to  escape.  This  letter  remained  un- 
answered. He  wrote  another  to  the  same  committee, 
giving  details.  It  was  whilst  going  to  the  convict-prison, 
>  Guillot,  a  defender  in  the  Tribunal. 


84  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

during  the  journey  from  Paris  to  Brest,  that  the  escape  would 
take  place.  The  committee  of  the  Section  sent  this  second 
letter  to  the  Committee  of  Public  Safety,  which  forwarded  it 
to  Herman,  the  President  of  the  Commission  for  the  Adminis- 
tration of  Civil  Affairs,  of  Police,  and  of  Tribunals.  By  a 
resolution  of  the  Committee  of  Public  Safety,  passed  on  the 
25th  of  Prairial,  the  prisoners  who  had  been  denounced  were 
brought  before  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal.  The  same 
resolution  authorised  the  commission  to  bring  before  the 
Tribunal ' '  all  other  individuals  detained  in  the  said  house  of 
Bicetre  who  might  be  suspected  of  having  taken  part  in  the 
plot."  On  the  26th,  Lanne,  Herman's  assistant,  went  to 
Bicetre.  Fouquier-Tinville  accompanied  him.  Fouquier 
drew  up  a  list,  and  sent  it  to  Lanne  with  these  words  : 
"  Citizen,  enclosed  is  the  account  of  the  suspects  found  in 
our  transaction.  I  request  you  to  send  me  to-morrow,  at 
ten  or  eleven  o'clock  at  latest,  all  the  documents  of  this  busi- 
ness, in  particular  the  resolutions."  ^  On  the  27th,  Lanne 
copied  out  the  list  and  sent  it  to  Fouquier.  He  sent  him  at 
the  same  time  the  resolution  passed  by  the  Committee  of 
Public  Safety  on  the  25th,  and  the  list  of  prisoners  whom  that 
Committee  was  sending  before  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal. 
In  all,  there  were  thirty-seven  prisoners  who  appeared  before 
the  Tribunal.  Fouquier's  writ  of  indictment  affirms  that 
the  aim  of  this  plot  was  "  to  overcome  the  citizens  forming 
the  armed  force  of  the  house  of  detention  of  Bicetre,  to  force 
the  doors  of  the  said  house  in  order  to  go  and  kill  the  Repre- 
sentatives of  the  people,  members  of  the  Convention's 
Committees  of  Public  Safety  and  of  General  Security,  to 
tear  out  their  hearts,  to  cook  and  eat  them,  and  to  put  to 
death  the  most  conspicuous  of  them  in  a  cask  furnished  with 
spikes."  No  witnesses  were  heard,  with  the  exception  of 
Valagnos,  the  convict.  The  thirty-seven  Bicetre  prisoners 
were  condemned  and  executed.  Fouquier,  at  his  trial,  said 
that  they  were  criminals,  that  they  were  condemned  to 
chains.  A  poor  reason !  Had  they  conspired  or  not  ? 
If  they  had  only  attempted  to  escape,  they  did  not  deserve 
1  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  ist  dossier,  p.  8. 


THE    STATE    OF    THE    PRISONS  85 

the  guillotine.  Brunet,  the  chief  surgeon  of  Bicetre,  a 
witness  at  Fouquier's  trial,  said  :  "  The  conspiracy  that  the 
murderers  have  imagined  is  a  falsehood,  I  will  even  say,  a 
calumny.  The  law  had  seized  the  guilty.  They  ought, 
doubtless,  to  have  undergone  their  punishment.  But 
no  power,  at  least  unless  a  fresh  crime  had  been  proved, 
could  strike  beings  who  were  expiating  the  punishment  due 
to  their  crimes."  Brunet,  passing  through  the  halls,  the 
rooms,  and  the  cells  several  times  a  day,  doubtless  knew  what 
to  think  about  the  state  of  the  prisons.  And  Deschamps, 
the  treasurer,  deposed  that  when  they  came  to  take  away 
the  prisoners  in  order  to  bring  them  before  the  Tribunal, 
one  of  them,  aged  79,  was  so  frightened  that  he  wounded 
himself  in  the  belly  with  his  razor. 

On  the  17th  of  Messidor,  the  Committee  of  Public  Safety 
resolved  that  the  commission  over  which  Herman  presided 
should  make  a  daily  report  to  the  Pubhc  Prosecutor  on 
the  conduct  of  those  detained  in  the  different  prisons  of  Paris. 
The  Revolutionary  Tribunal  was  bound,  in  conformity 
with  the  law,  to  try  within  twenty-four  hours  those  who 
attempted  to  revolt  or  excited  any  ferment.^ 

On  the  i8th,  Fouquier  wrote  to  Subleyras,  the  President 
of  the  Popular  Commission,  to  the  Museum  (the  Louvre)  : 

"  I  send  you  herewith  a  list  of  the  conspirators  of  the  house 
of  detention  of  the  Luxembourg  whom  I  propose  to  have 
put  on  trial  to-morrow.  I  ask  you  in  consequence  to  trans- 
mit to  me  all  information  you  may  possess  about  these 
individuals.  "2 

On  the  same  day  he  wrote  to  the  Committee  of  Public 
Safety  to  inform  them  that  he  "  would  bring  the  conspira- 
tors of  the  Luxembourg  to  trial,  the  next  day,  in  the  Hall  of 
Liberty." 

At  eleven  o'clock  in  the  evening  on  that  18th  of  Messi- 
dor, whilst  the  prison  was  asleep  and  everything  quiet,  a 
considerable  armed  force  invaded  the  large  court-yard. 
There  was  an  alarm.     Calls  were  heard  in  the  rooms,  hurried 

'  W.  500,  dossier  3,  p.  79,  and  W.  501,  dossier  i,  p.  55. 
'  W.  501,  ist  dossier,  p.  45. 


86  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

footsteps  on  the  stairs.  A  hundred  and  fifty-six  prisoners 
were  transferred  to  the  house  of  justice,  counted,  and 
crowded  together  at  the  Conciergerie  while  waiting  for  the 
hour  of  the  sitting.  President  Dumas  had  caused  an  enor- 
mous scaffolding  ^  to  be  erected  in  the  hall  of  the  Tribunal, 
the  benches  of  which  rose  as  high  as  the  cornices  of  the 
ceihng  and  filled  a  large  part  of  the  enclosure.  It  was  on 
this  scaffolding  that  he  intended  to  place  the  conspirators 
of  the  Luxembourg. 

But  that  night  Fouquier  went  to  the  Committee.  He 
saw  Collot  d'Herbois,  Billaud,  Saint-Just,  and  Robespierre, 
and  it  was  decided  that  instead  of  being  tried  in  the  mass 
(which  might  arouse  too  violent  a  feeling  among  the  public) 
the  hundred  and  fifty-six  would  be  tried  in  three  lots.  The 
scaffolding  was  accordingly  demolished. 

At  nine  o'clock  in  the  morning  of  the  19th  of  Messidor, 
the  prisoners  of  the  first  batch  received  their  writs  of 
indictment.  At  ten  o'clock  they  entered  the  dock,  to  the 
number  of  sixty.  At  three  o'clock  they  had  all  been  tried 
and  sent  to  the  guillotine.  Madame  de  Boisgelin,  as  she 
was  leaving  the  Tribunal  and  crossing  the  courtyard, 
said  to  those  of  the  prisoners  who  had  not  been  tried  :  "  We 
have  not  been  allowed  to  speak.  It  will  be  your  turn 
to-morrow."  ^ 

At  this  hearing  there  had  been  condemned  Jean  Dominique 
Maurin,  "  47  years  of  age,  born  at  Barcelonnette,  in  the 
department  of  the  Basses-Alpes.  Before  the  Revolution 
he  had  been  a  book-keeper  to  different  merchants,  and  since 
then  a  steward  of  the  Duchesse  d'Estissac's  estate  at  Halluin, 
and  an  agent  of  the  ex-Marechale  de  Biron,"  says  the  judg- 
ment. Now  the  writ  of  indictment  has  :  "  Jean  Dominique 
Morin,  formerly  quarter-master ,  aged  47  years,  born  at  Barce- 
lonnette, in   the  department    of   the  Basses-Alpes."     The 

*  It  is  this  scaffolding  {echafaud)  that  M.  Thiers  confused  with  the 
guillotine  in  his  Histoire  de  la  Revolution  Franqaise,  9th  edition. 
Fume,  1839,  p.  138,  when  he  says  :  "  It  was  necessary  to  order 
Fouquier-Tinville  a  second  time  to  remove  the  guillotine  from  the  hall 
of  the  Tribunal." 

2  Jobert's  evidence  at  Fouquier's  trial. 


THE    BOGUS    CONSPIRACIES  87 

accused  man,  hearing  the  statement  for  the  prosecution 
read,  and  understanding  that  there  was  a  mistake,  protested  : 
"It  is  not  I."  He  was  condemned.  But  Fouquier  im- 
mediately claimed,  ^  and  the  Tribunal  ordered,  that  Louis 
Clerc  Morin  should  also  be  brought  to  trial.  The  latter 
was  guillotined  three  days  after  his  namesake  on  the  22nd 
of  Messidor.  He  formed  part  of  the  third  "  batch  "  from 
the  Luxembourg.  At  Fouquier's  trial  a  witness,  Vauchelet, 
said  that  Morin  "  so  far  from  being  concerned  in  that 
alleged  conspiracy,  was  not  in  the  Luxembourg  prison." 

On  the  9th  of  Messidor,  the  Tribunal  had  heard  only  five 
witnesses.  These  were  four  pohce  spies  (Boyaval,^  Meunier, 
Vemey,  Benoit),  and  a  turnkey  of  the  Luxembourg,  Lesenne. 
This  latter  declared  that  there  had  been  no  conspiracy. 
Fouquier  immediately  demanded  his  arrest. 

The  Swiss  porter  of  the  Luxembourg,  Nicolas  Strahl,  and 
others  gave  evidence  afterwards  at  Fouquier-Tinville's 
trial  that  no  conspiracy  had  existed  in  the  prison,  and  that 
everything  was  cakn.  "  Those  conspiracies,"  he  said, 
"  have  only  existed  in  the  public  prints." 

A  man  who  had  a  narrow  escape  was  Jean  Martin,  a 
lawyer,  included  in  the  third  "  batch "  of  the  alleged 
Luxembourg  conspiracy,  that  of  the  22nd  of  Messidor.^    He 

1  "  The  Public  Prosecutor  claims,  and  the  Tribunal  orders,  that 
there  be  given  him  a  memorandum  of  the  verbal  indictment  brought 
by  him  against  Morin."     Archives  Nationales,  W.  409,  dossier  941. 

*  Boy  aval  was,  with  Benoit,  one  of  the  great  makers  of  the  lists. 
A  tailor  and  a  lieutenant  of  light  infantry,  a  narrow-minded,  chatter- 
ing liar,  Boyaval  boasted  that  he  was  entrusted  with  making  out  the 
lists.  Sometimes  he  said  he  had  orders  from  the  police  officials,  some- 
times from  Robespierre,  and  sometimes  from  Fouquier.  He  went  to 
the  Tribunal  to  give  evidence  as  a  witness  against  those  he  had 
denounced. 

»  In  the  list  of  unfortunate  beings  taken  off  during  the  night  be- 
tween the  1 8th  and  the  19th  was  found  the  name  of  Pierre  Charles 
Machet-Velye,  an  ex-Comptroller  of  Buildings  to  Monsieur,  the  king's 
brother.  Uncommunicative,  alwajrs  shut  up  in  his  room,  living 
isolated,  and  perpetually  occupied  with  a  law-suit  which  he  was 
carrying  on  against  a  former  Procurator  of  the  Parlement,  Machet- 
Velye  had  received,  in  his  prison,  the  news  that  he  had  won  his  suit . 
He  was  guillotined  on  the  22nd  of  Messidor  as  an  accomplice  in  the 
conspiracy  of  Grammont.  who  had  been  executed  four  months  before 


88   THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

was  acquitted,  perhaps  because  he  said  that  he  had  known 
"  the  project  of  making  a  scene  in  the  prison  which  Gram- 
mont  carried  out  in  part."  After  Robespierre's  fall,  he  sent, 
on  the  13th  of  Thermidor,  to  the  Committee  of  Public 
Safety  a  very  curious  report  in  which  he  described  in  a  strik- 
ing manner  the  sitting  of  the  Tribunal  on  the  day  when  he 
appeared  before  it.  Scellier  presided.  Royer  deputised 
for  Fouquier-Tinville.  Boyaval,  the  spy,  was  the  first 
to  give  evidence,  then  Verney,  a  turnkey  at  the  Luxem- 
bourg and  an  active  informer,  then  Benoit,  another  spy. 

Here,  for  instance,  is  a  little  dialogue  between  the  Presi- 
dent and  Goursault,  one  of  the  accused  : 

The  President  : — "  Why  have  you  been  arrested  ?  " — "  I 
do  not  know." — The  President : — "  Are  you  noble  ?  " 
"  No,  I  am  a  labourer's  son." — The  President  : — "  All 
right.  We  know  the  moral  sense  of  an  administrator  of 
lotteries  ;    you  say  no  more." 

his  arrival  at  the  Luxembourg  !     (Cf.  Real's  evidence  at  Fouquier's 
trial.) 

On  the  2ist  of  Messidor,  fifty  prisoners  appeared  before  the 
Tribunal  charged  with  taking  part  in  the  Luxembourg  conspiracy  ; 
this  was  the  second  "  batch."  One  of  the  accused,  Pierre  Louis 
Moreau,  an  architect  and  a  chevalier  of  Saint  Louis,  was  a  brother- 
in-law  of  the  poet,  Ducis  ;  the  latter  wrote  the  following  letter  to 
Fouquier  to  intercede  with  him  on  behalf  of  his  relative  : — 

"  Paris,  the  20th  of  Messidor  of  the  year  II. :  Citizen,  I  do  not  solicit 
your  justice,  that  would  be  to  insult  your  well-known  integrity, 
but  I  yield  to  my  wife's  tears.  The  fate  of  her  brother  is  to  be 
decided  to-morrow  by  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal :  he  is  Citizen 
Moreau,  formerly  architect  of  the  City  of  Paris.  He  has  always 
been  obedient  and  faithful  to  the  laws  of  our  country,  he  has  paid  all 
that  was  asked  of  him,  in  particular,  thirty  tiaousand  francs  for  the 
war  in  La  Vendee  ;  nothing  against  him  has  been  found  among  his 
papers,  on  which  official  seals  have  been  placed  both  in  the  city  and 
the  country.  He  was  engaged  in  no  plot ;  before  his  detention  he 
was  farming  an  emigrant's  land,  for  which  he  paid  rent  to  the  nation  ; 
he  is  a  good  father,  tenderly  loved  by  his  wife  and  daughters  ;  we 
hope,  just  and  incorruptible  citizen,  that  you  will  soon  restore  him 
to  the  arms  and  the  eyes  of  us  who  are  waiting  for  him.  We  are  sure 
that  you  will  bring  his  innocence  into  full  light.  Accept  the  assur- 
ance of  my  veneration  and  my  entire  confidence  in  your  wisdom  and 
virtue.  Signed  :  Ducis,  of  the  former  French  Academy."  Archives 
Nationales,  W.  93.  Moreau  was  condemned  to  death.  Campardon, 
L,  p.  382. 


ROBESPIERRE    AND    THE    CONSPIRACIES     89 

The  examination  of  each  of  the  forty-six  prisoners  was 
conducted  in  similar  style. 

On  the  2ist  of  Messidor,  at  the  Jacobin  Club,  Robespierre 
returned  to  the  affair  of  the  conspiracies.  He  spoke  of 
"  the  cabals  secretly  directed  against  the  Revolutionary 
Government  and  the  plottings  of  those  traitors  who  are 
burning  to  sow  dissension  among  the  patriots."  Accord- 
ing to  him,  the  recent  victory  of  Fleurus  threatened  to  lead 
the  pubhc  mind  towards  leniency.  "  It  is  natural  to  slumber 
after  victory.  .  .  ,  The  true  victory  is  that  which 
the  friends  of  liberty  gain  over  the  factions."  It  was  neces- 
sary, therefore,  that  the  extermination  of  the  conspirators 
should  continue. 

It  was  as  a  conspirator  that  Jean-Claude  Pelchet,  an 
architect  and  ex-Chief  Inspector  of  Buildings  to  the  King, 
appeared  before  the  Tribunal,  on  the  25th  of  Messidor,  because 
a  certain  Dodin,  who  informed  against  him,  declared  that, 
during  a  journey  they  had  made  together  from  Versailles 
to  Paris,  the  architect  had  expressed  royalist  sentiments 
opposed  to  the  principles  of  the  Revolution.  Witnesses 
were  not  allowed  him.  Fouquier  wrote  to  his  deputy  that 
their  appearance  did  not  seem  to  him  indispensable,  and  that 
he  ought  to  do  all  he  could  to  prevent  the  prisoner's  defence 
from  being  cut  short.  Fouquier' s  note  is  among  the  papers 
relative  to  the  case.^ 

Those  sixteen  Carmelite  nuns  of  Compiegne  were  conspira- 
tors who  were  charged  with  fanaticism,  together  with  Citizen 
Mulot  de  la  Menardiere,  a  townsman  of  Compiegne  and  a 
very  indifferent  poet,  who  had  sent  counter-revolutionary 
verses  to  one  of  the  nuns,  his  cousin.  He  was  married. 
Fouquier,  in  his  indictment,  describes  him  as  "  a  rebelhous 
ex-priest,"  though  he  had  never  been  a  priest.  In  the  writ  of 
indictment  he  becomes  ' '  the  chief  of  a  counter-revolutionary 
assembly  at  Compiegne,  of  a  sort  of  Vendean  focus.  His 
correspondence  with  those  women  who  were  subject  to  his 
will  gives  evidence  of  the  counter-revolutionary  sentiments 
that  animated  him,  and  one  sees  in  it  especially  that  pro- 
1  Archives  Nationales,  W.  414,  No.  949,  3rd  part. 


90  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

found  knavery  familiar  to  those  hypocrites  who  are  accus- 
tomed to  give  out  that  their  own  passions  are  the  rule 
established  by  Heaven's  will."^  Documents  were  produced 
against  him  which  were  not  in  his  writing.  Fouquier  had 
no  longer  sufficient  time  to  identify  documents. 

All  the  nuns  were  sentenced  to  death,  even  those  against 
whom  there  was  nothing,  even  the  two  non-cloistered  sisters. 

On  the  ist  of  Thermidor  (July  19,  1794),  three  generations 
of  the  same  family  were  in  the  dock.  This  was  what 
Fouquier  called  "  the  Magon  conspiracy,"  comprising  J.  B, 
Magon  de  la  Balue,  a  merchant  and  an  ex-noble,  81  years  of 
age  ;  Luc  Magon  de  Labelinaye,  a  merchant  and  an  ex-noble, 
80  years  of  age  ;  Erasme  Charles  Auguste  Lalande  Magon, 
his  son  ;  Fran^oise  Magon,  his  daughter,  Saint-Pern's  wife  ; 
Saint-Pern  ;  Francois  Joseph  Cornulier,  twenty-two  years 
of  age,  and  his  wife  (the  same  age)  ;  Amelie  Laurence  Celeste, 
Saint-Pern's  daughter — and  others.  Saint-Pern's  son,  aged 
seventeen,  was  brought  before  the  Tribunal.  He  protested, 
told  his  age  ;  his  sister  and  his  mother  confirmed  his  state- 
ments. Then  Dumas  declared  :  "  Citizen  jurors,  you  see  that 
he  is  conspiring  at  this  very  moment,  for  he  is  more  than 
seventeen  years  old."  ^  He  was  condemned  ;  hut  the  fact 
that  he  was  seventeen  years  of  age  was  allowed  to  remain  in  the 
sentence.  It  was  his  father  against  whom  the  indictment 
was  directed.  Here  Fouquier' s  responsibihty  was  directly 
involved.  The  indictment  read  :  "  No.  5,  Saint-Pern — 
without  Christian  names  or  descriptions  ;  No.  6,  Saint-Pern's 
wife."  3  In  the  questions  propounded  to  the  jury,  we  read  : 
"  No.  5,  Jean  Baptiste  Marie  Bertrand  Saint-Pern,  aged 
seventeen,  a  native  of  Rennes,  residing  at  Paris,  an  ex-noble, 
without  occupation."  The  Christian  names  and  the  rest 
were  added  afterwards.  The  writ  of  indictment  aimed  at 
the  father,  but  with  such  lack  of  precision  was  it  drawn  that 
it  was  the  son  who  was  condemned  !  This  was  a  criminal 
irregularity.     But  there  was  more  to  come.     The  daughter, 

*  W.  421,  No.  956,  p.  125. 

*  Ducray's  evidence  at  Fouquier's  trial. 

*  Archives  Nationales,  W.  423,  No.  958,  2nd  part,  p.  41. 


MADAME    CORNULIER'S    ESCAPE  91 

young  Saint-Pern's  sister,  was  condemned  on  the  indict- 
ment made  out  against  her  father.  Fouquier's  responsibihty 
is  still  graver  in  this  case.  The  indictment  states  that  : 
"  Comuillier,  son-in-law  of  Saint-Pern  and  his  wife  was 
also  an  accomplice  in  the  Magon  conspiracy  and  one  of 
the  assassins  of  the  people  on  the  day  of  August  10." 

Madame  Comuher  was  six  months  gone  with  child.  Her 
execution  was  postponed.  Eight  days  later  Robespierre's 
fall  took  place.  She  was  set  at  liberty  and  came  to  give 
evidence  against  Fouquier.  Her  evidence  will  be  given  in 
the  second  part  of  this  study.  The  official  report  of  the 
sitting  at  which  her  family  was  condemned  did  not  contain 
the  names  of  the  jurors ;  but  she  had  them  always  in  her 
memory — Prieur,  Chatelet,  and  Renaudin,  who  were  after- 
wards accused  in  their  turn.  And  she  furnished  an  irrefut- 
able proof  against  them  in  the  paper  in  which  her  husband 
had  sent  her  a  lock  of  his  hair  before  he  died,  and  which  was 
nothing  else  than  the  list  of  the  jurors  of  the  ist  of  Thermi- 
dor.  Fouquier  exclaimed  :  "I  was  not  sitting  "  ;  but  the 
writ  of  indictment  was  his,  and  Lohier,  a  juror,  charged 
along  with  him,  said  :  "  The  writ  of  indictment  has  nothing 
to  do  with  me." 

Together  with  the  Magons,  a  genuine  sans-culotte,  a  lawyer, 
Citizen  Duchesne,  called  Duquesne,  "  a  member  of  the 
Versailles  society  of  sans-culottes ,"  was  impeached  as  a 
conspirator,  although  his  hairdresser,  an  influential  man, 
had  certified  that  he  was  "  the  warmest  friend  of  the 
Revolution."  But  there  is  some  mystery  here,  for  he  was 
condemned  to  death. 

It  is  to  be  noted  also  that,  with  the  Magons,  there  was 

Legris,  the  registrar's  clerk,  the  sad  accomplice  of  so  many 

irregularities,   so  many  blank  warrants,   Legris,  in  whom 

Fouquier  saw  "  the  conspirator  Havre's  agent  with  Magon 

la  Balue."  ^ 

1  "  Legris,  calling  himself  the  conspirator  Havre's  steward,  was 
his  agent  with  Magon  la  Balue  in  order  to  procure  for  him  the  funds 
necessary  for  the  execution  of  his  liberticidal  plots.  He  procured  for 
him  in  the  month  of  March,  1792,  a  sum  of  thirty-two  thousand  three 
hundred  and  seventy-five  francs.     He  is  known  to  have  left  French 


92  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

He  was  arrested  at  his  house  at  five  o'clock  in  the  morning 
while  in  his  bed,  and  brought  at  seven  o'clock  to  the  Con- 
ciergerie.  At  nine  o'clock  his  writ  of  indictment  was  served 
on  him ;  at  ten  o'clock  he  was  in  the.dock  before  the  Tribunal; 
at  two  o'clock  he  was  no  longer  alive. ^  This  summary  execu- 
tion terrified  the  clerical  staff.  It  found  itself  threatened. 
Whose  turn  would  be  next  ?  Neither  the  registrar  nor  the 
surviving  clerks  forgave  the  Pubhc  Prosecutor.  We  shall 
see  the  terrible  and  precise  accusations  made  by  Paris  and 
Wolff  at  his  trial. 

On  the  4th  of  Thermidor  the  last  "batch"  from  the 
Luxembourg  appeared.  In  this  "  batch  "  were  the  Noailles 
ladies,  "  deaf  and  worn  with  age."  The  President  asked 
them  their  names.  They  did  not  hear  him.  They  were 
brought  nearer.  At  last  they  understood,  gave  their 
names,  and  were  sent  back  to  the  benches  on  which  the 
prisoners  sat.^  They  were  condemned  and  guillotined. 
Joseph  Meynard-Mellet  (17  years  old)  was  taken  for  young  de 
Maille  and  guillotined  in  his  place.  A  mistake  in  the  name. 
Moreover,  young  de  Maille  himself  was  also  guillotined  on 
the  6th  of  Thermidor.  He  had  flung  a  rotten  fish  at  the 
head  of  the  purveyor  of  food  during  a  meal  in  the  prison. 
Who  were  the  witnesses  at  this  trial  ?  Always  the  same — 
Boyaval,  Benoit  and  Beausire. 

This  is  how  Benoit  afterwards  gave  an  account  of  his 
evidence  at  the  Tribunal  on  that  day : 

"  On  the  4th  of  Thermidor  an  usher  came  with  a  police- 
man to  the  Carmelite  Prison  to  take  me  again  to  the  Tribunal, 

territory  to  go  to  Mons  and  confer  with  Havre  on  the  execution  of  his 
plots.  Finally,  he  is  known,  in  the  months  of  February,  March,  April 
and  May,  1792,  to  have  been  lavish  in  attributing  the  feudal  and 
counter-revolutionary  titles  of  duke  and  duchess  to  those  infamous 
conspirators,  and  to  have  described  himself,  at  the  end  of  his  letters, 
as  M.  le  due  d'Havre's  steward  ;  the  mask  of  patriotism  which  he  has 
assumed  and  the  audacity  he  has  shown  in  daring  to  claim  the  confi- 
dence of  a  Tribunal  which  punishes  conspirators  without  distinction 
will  only  render  more  terrible  the  punishment  that  awaits  him  and 
serve  as  a  lesson  to  those  who  dare  to  imitate  him."  (Signed,  A.  Q. 
Fouquier.)     W.  423,  No.  958,  2nd  part. 

1  Tavernier's  evidence  at  Fouquier's  trial. 

'  Julien's  evidence  at  Fouquier's  trial. 


THE    JURORS'    RESPONSIBILITY  93 

On  this  occasion  I  was  not  made  to  repeat  what  I  knew 
of  Grammont's  conspiracy  ;  I  was  only  asked  if  I  knew  the 
accused.  I  knew  three  of  them,  I  said  what  I  knew 
of  them,  without  hatred  as  without  fear,  and  I  urged  the 
Tribunal  not  to  trust  to  my  evidence  alone,  but  to  send 
for  their  room-mates,  who  would  bear  witness  to  the  same 
truth.  In  regard  to  the  others  all  I  knew  of  them  was  that 
they  were  staying  at  the  Luxembourg. 

"  How  were  those  prisoners  examined  who  were  not 
charged  with  belonging  to  this  new  conspiracy  ?  They  were 
only  asked  if  they  had  any  acquaintance  with  a  conspiracy 
that  had  existed  in  the  Luxembourg,  and  still  existed  at 
that  very  moment,  and  if  they  had  given  information  about 
it.  On  a  negative  or  affirmative  answer,  they  passed  on  to 
the  next." 

He  adds  (let  us  not  forget  that  this  was  written  after 
Thermidor,  when  he  was  in  prison  and  defending  his  life)  : — 

"  What  a  manner  of  trying  men  !  How  the  jurors 
ought  to  reproach  themselves  for  the  deaths  of  those  whose 
defence  they  did  not  listen  to  !  " 

"  I  remember,"  Benoit  also  writes,  "  that  on  each  occasion 
when  we  went  to  give  evidence,  Boyaval  spent  a  good  deal 
of  time  alone  in  the  room  of  the  Public  Prosecutor.  Every- 
thing leads  to  the  presumption  that  he  was  well  acquainted 
with  all  that  was  happening.  As  we  were  returning  from 
the  Tribunal  on  the  4th  of  Thermidor,  I  asked  Boyaval 
about  a  room-mate  of  his  who  had  also  been  mine.  '  We 
shall  have  him  guillotined  soon,'  Boyaval  answered.  '  He 
is  for  the  first  "  batch  "  as  well  as  Fosses  and  his  father-in- 
law.  I  have  been  twice  to  the  Committee  of  Public  Safety 
during  the  last  few  days,  I  was  there  yesterday,  and  it  is  I 
who  am  entrusted  with  that.  We  are  going  to  hurry  them 
up.  We  leave  some  like  him  as  bait  for  the  others  and  we 
pick  them  all  up  in  a  lump.'  "  ^ 

Benoit  sought,  in  writing  these  lines,  to  clear  himself  of 
responsibility  ;  but  letters,  such  as  the  following,  from  him 
to  Fouquier-Tinville  are  to  be  found  among  the  Archives  : — 
*  W.  501,  2nd  dossier,  p.   146. 


94  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

"  Citizen,  I  have  a  declaration  to  make  to  you  which  will 
perhaps  be  to  the  pubhc  advantage,  for  the  hydra  of  aristo- 
cracy must  be  overthrown  at  all  points.  Benoist.  This 
2ist  of  Messidor  of  the  year  H.  of  the  Repubhc  one  and 
indivisible."  ^ 

Benoit  had  passed  the  23rd  of  Messidor  at  the  Carmelites.^ 
He  occupied  in  that  prison  a  private  room  where  he  could 
write.  At  the  Carmelites  he  did  the  same  work  as  at  the 
Luxembourg.  The  j  anitor,  Roblatre,  a  brute  who  tormented 
the  prisoners  in  order  to  drive  them  to  exasperation,  received 
an  order  to  treat  him  with  consideration.  In  order  the 
better  to  gain  the  trust  of  the  prisoners  and  to  inchne 
them  to  make  confidence,  Benoit  told  some  that  he  came 
from  the  Department  of  Eure-et-Loir,  others  that  he  came 
from  Calvados,  or  from  the  Eure,  whilst  as  a  matter  of 
fact  he  came  straight  from  the  Luxembourg  prison.  He  had 
hberty  to  go  and  come,  to  enter  and  to  leave  ;  he  had  a  seal 
bearing  the  arms  of  the  Nation. 

Another  pohce  spy  at  the  Carmelites  was  Citizen  Manuel.^ 

1  This  also  is  a  letter  from  Benoist  (there  are  others  in  the  same 
portfolio)  : — 

"  (To  the  Citizen  Public  Prosecutor  of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal 
at  Paris.) 

"  This  25th  of  Messidor  of  the  Year  II.  of  the  Republic  one  and 
indivisible. 

"  Citizen, 

"  I  believe  I  ought  to  denounce  to  you  all  the  scoundrels  who 
seek  to  humiliate  the  Convention.  An  individual  about  whom  I 
gave  information,  on  the  23rd  of  this  month,  to  the  janitor  of  the 
house  of  detention  of  the  Luxembourg  has  said  in  the  presence  of 
two  citizens  whom  I  pointed  out  to  him,  that  the  Committees  of 
Public  Safety  and  of  General  Security  had  caused  scoundrels  to 
be  shut  up  in  the  Luxembourg  in  order  to  rid  themselves  of  honest 
people  so  that  they  might  govern  alone  and  despotically.  I  only 
write  this  letter  from  a  fear  that  he  may  not  have  informed  you  or 
the  Committee  of  General  Security.  Greeting  and  fraternity,  Benoist. 
I  have  many  other  things  of  which  I  ought  to  inform  you,  but  at  the 
moment  when  I  was  writing  to  you  I  was  transferred  to  the  Carme- 
lites and  I  have  been  ill  since  then,  but  to-day  I  hope  to  be  better 
and  to  inform  you  as  well  as  the  Committees  of  General  Security  and 
of  Public  Safety  of  all  that  I  know."     W.  501,  ist  dossier,  p.  33. 

»  That  is  the  day  following  the  third  Luxembourg  "  batch." 
This  comparison  of  dates  is  significant. 

»  See  the  evidence  of  Gouget-Deslandres  at  Fouquier's  trial. 


THE    CARMELITE    CONSPIRACY  95 

Fouquier,  at  the  trials,  would  say  to  him  :  "  Come, 
patriot  Manuel,  enlighten  the  Tribunal  regarding  the  per- 
fidious intentions  of  these  scoundrels."  Then  Manuel, 
looking  at  the  accused  on  the  benches,  would  disclose  what 
he  had  noticed  in  prison  regarding  the  conduct  of  each  of 
them.  Fouquier,  according  to  Gouget-Deslandres,  "  rubbing 
his  hands  in  token  of  the  fullest  satisfaction." 

In  reality,  the  so-called  conspiracy  in  the  Carmelite 
Prison  seems  to  have  been  absolutely  imaginary.  It  owed 
its  origin  only  to  a  plan  of  escape  attempted  by  five  or  six 
prisoners  who  had  found  a  rope  in  the  belfry,  and  who 
with  the  help  of  this  rope,  which  they  transformed  into  a 
ladder,  had  tried  to  escape.  Faro  and  Arbeltier,  officers  of 
pohce,  went  to  the  Carmelites  on  the  30th  of  Messidor.  They 
questioned  the  prisoners.  Virolle,  a  surgeon,  suspected  of 
being  the  principal  "conspirator,"  denied  the  remarks  that 
were  attributed  to  him  in  regard  to  Robespierre  and  the 
Committee  of  Public  Safety.  Another,  Champagnier,  was 
also  denounced.  A  list  of  forty-nine  conspirators  was 
drawn  up.  Virolle,  the  surgeon,  in  desperation,  threw  him- 
self out  of  a  window  and  was  killed.  He  was  replaced  by 
another.  Bourgeois,  an  ex-lawyer.  The  forty-nine  appeared 
before  the  Tribunal  on  the  5th  of  Thermidor  (July  23). 
Three  only  were  acquitted.  Fouquier's  indictment  is  drawn 
up  with  visible  carelessness  and  haste.  He  furnished  no 
proof.  "  Virol,  a  prisoner  in  the  house  of  the  Carmelites, 
was  the  head  of  this  new  conspiracy,  which  coincided  with 
those  in  the  houses  of  detention  of  Bicetre  and  of  the  Luxem- 
bourg. It  appears  also  that  the  conspirators  in  the  first  two 
houses  had  an  understanding  and  a  secret  correspondence 
with  those  in  the  Carmelites."  ^  There  are  all  classes  in  the 
hst  of  accused — ex-nobles,  a  merchant,  a  teacher,  ex-priests, 
an  ironmonger,  a  cutler,  a  shopkeeper,  a  haberdasher,  a 
lawyer,  an  upholsterer,  sailors,  a  domestic  servant,  a  prince 
— Louis    Armand    Constantin    de    Montbazon-Rohan,   ex- 

»  Except  for  Virolle  and  Champagnier,  none  of  the  accused  were 
examined  at  the  inquiry.  There  is  no  report  of  an  examination 
among  the  papers. 


96  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

Vice-Admiral.  The  official  report  of  the  hearing  bears  the 
name  of  Fouquier-Tinville  as  present  at  the  pleadings.^ 
We  shall  see  from  the  evidence  of  witnesses  at  his  trial  that 
he  spoke  several  times  against  the  accused. 

In  spite  of  the  extreme  credulity  of  the  public,  the  system 
of  Dillon  conspiracies,  Grammont  conspiracies,  etc.,  became 
worn  out.  "  One  blushed,"  says  Real,  "  at  returning  to  this 
commonplace  method."  A  conspiracy  at  Saint-Lazare  was 
imagined.  The  informers  were  Manini,  an  Italian  "  man  of 
letters,"  and  Coquery,  a  locksmith.  According  to  their 
statements,  "  the  prisoners  were  to  escape  and  massacre  the 
members  of  the  Committee  of  Public  Safety."  In  order  to 
give  a  material  proof  of  the  plot,  Coquery  sawed  through 
the  bar  of  a  window.  On  the  23rd  of  Messidor,  the  day 
following  the  third  "  batch  "  from  the  Luxembourg,  Faro 
was  commissioned  to  hold  an  inquiry  at  Saint-Lazare.  He 
heard  Manini,  Coquery,  Desisnards,  AUain,  Gauthier,  Scelle, 
and  Seme,  the  janitor.  Seme  was  replaced  by  a  safe  man, 
Verney,  the  former  turnkey  of  the  Luxembourg,  who 
boasted  of  "  despatching  the  prisoners  at  Saint-Lazare  as 
he  had  done  at  the  Luxembourg."  To  these  hired  plotters 
were  joined  Jobert  (the  Belgian),  Pepin  Degrouhette, 
Roger  La  Pointe,  Lepecheux,  Robinet,  and  Horace  Molin. 
They  made  out  lists,  and  acted  as  witnesses  at  the 
sessions  of  the  Tribunal.  Pepin  Degrouhette  especially 
distinguished  himself.  He  had  been  a  judge  of  the 
Tribunal  estabhshed  on  August  17,  and  had  afterwards 
been  sent  to  prison  for  dishonestly  using  his  position  to 
enrich  himself.  He  would  return  drunk  from  the  Tribunal, 
and  boast  that  he  had  been  embraced  by  Fouquier,  that  he 
was  all-powerful  at  the  Tribunal.     He  was  hated  and  feared. 

The  indictment  for  the  Saint-Lazare  conspiracy  contains 
eighty  names,  two  of  which  are  erased.  It  was  dealt  with 
on  the  three  occasions  (the  6th,  7th  and  8th  of  Thermidor). 
In  the  "  batch  "  of  the  6th,  there  was  included  young 
Fortune  Charles  Louis  Frangois  de  Maille  (17  years  of  age), 
who  had  thrown  at  the  purveyor's  head  a  rotten  fish  that 
1  Archives  Nationales,  VV.  429,  No.  965,  2nd  part,  p.  95. 


A   DEMONSTRATION   OF    SYMPATHY  97 

had  been  served  up  to  him.  Young  Mellet,  who  had  been 
mistaken  for  him,  had,  as  we  have  seen,  been  guillotined  on 
the  4th  of  Thermidor.  In  this  "  batch  "  of  twenty-five 
prisoners,  tried  on  the  6th  of  Thermidor,  and  all  condemned, 
we  may  also  mention  the  Abbess  of  Montmartre,  Marie 
Louise  de  Laval  Montmorency,  aged  seventy-two,  and  young 
IsabeUe  Pigret  de  Meursin,  aged  twenty-one,  paralysed  in 
her  legs.  They  were  condemned  as  accomplices  in  the 
plan  to  escape.  How  could  this  woman  of  seventy-two 
and  this  paralysed  girl  have  escaped  through  the  window 
which  Coquery  had  sawn  ? 

Mesdames  de  Meursin,  Joly  de  Fleury,  and  Saint-Aignan 
declared  themselves  pregnant.  Madame  de  Saint-Aignan 
alone  was  recognised  to  be  so  by  the  officers  of  health.  She 
was  detained  along  with  her  husband.  As  for  the  others,  "  it 
is  impossible,"  wrote  Cofhnhal  on  the  revised  memorandum 
of  the  sentence,  "  for  men  to  communicate  with  women  in 
the  house  of  detention  of  Lazare."  But,  all  the  same,  they 
were  prosecuted  and  condemned  for  having  conspired  with 
them  ! 

On  the  day  of  the  7th  of  Thermidor  there  were  twenty-six 
accused,  twenty-five  of  whom  were  condemned.  Here  also 
there  is  an  error  of  name  and  of  person.  Madame  de  Mayet  * 
was  brought  to  trial  instead  of  the  Vicomtesse  de  Maille. 
None  the  less  Madame  de  Mayet  was  condemned  to  death 
and  executed.  As  for  the  Vicomtesse  de  Maille  (she  was 
thirty-nine),  they  returned  two  days  later  to  look  for  her 
in  her  prison.  She  was  led  to  the  Tribunal.  She  appeared 
as  No.  23,  the  last  on  the  list,  at  the  session  presided  over 
by  Scellier  on  the  9th  of  Thermidor.  As  she  entered  the 
hall  of  audience  she  saw  the  benches  on  which  her  young  son 
had  sat  three  days  before.  She  fainted.  The  people — if  you 
can  call  "  the  people  "  those  who  enjoyed  attending  the  great 
sessions  of  the  Tribunal — the  people  murmured  and  made 
a  display  in  her  favour.  The  judges  adjourned  her  case 
to  a  later  session.  She  was  transferred  to  the  Hospice  dc 
I'Eveche.  The  next  day  was  the  loth  of  Thermidor.  She 
^  Louise  Elisabeth  Gabrielle  Mathy-Simon,  Mayet's  widow. 

G 


98  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

was  saved.     She  will  be  heard  giving  evidence  at  Fouquier- 
Tinville's  trial. 

It  was  at  the  session  of  the  7th  of  Thermidor,  at  the  head 
of  the  list,  that  Antoine  Roucher,  man  of  letters,  and  his 
friend,  Andre  Chenier,  the  poet,  made  their  appearance. 
Everybody  knows  their  story  and  how  they  went  to  their 
execution.  The  verses  written  by  Andre  Chenier  are  also 
known,  those  splendid,  vehement  verses  of  the  Jeune 
Captive,  that  immortal  cry  of  rage  uttered  by  an  honest  man, 
powerless  before  his  executioners  : 

"  Mourir  sans  vider  mon  carquois, 
Sans  percer,  sans  fouler,  sans  petrir  dans  leur  fange 

Ces   bourreaux   barbouilleurs   de   lois, 
Ces  vers  cadavereux  de  la  France  asservie, 

Egorgee  ! " 

Let  us  also  note  on  the  list  of  the  twenty-five  condemned 
on  the  7th  of  Thermidor,  Louis  Sers,  fifty  years  of  age,  a 
captain  of  infantry,  commandant  of  Chandernagor.  Coffin- 
hal,  when  revising  the  list  of  accused  in  order  to  propound 
the  questions  to  the  jury,  wrote  on  the  margin  before  the 
name  of  Louis  Sers,  these  words  :  "  Captain  of  infantry, 
commandant  of  Chamharnagot." 

At  this  session  only  three  witnesses,  three  police  spies, 
were  heard — Manini,  "  an  author-artist,"  Pepin  Desgrouettes 
whom  we  know,  and  who  styled  himself  official  defender,  and 
Coquery,  the  locksmith. 

In  the  third  "  batch,"  that  of  the  8th,  there  were 
twenty-five  accused  and  twenty-three  condemned,  among 
them  the  two  Trudaines,  Charles  Louis,  twenty-nine 
years  old,  and  Charles  Michel,  twenty-eight,  and  Jean 
Simon  LoizeroUes,  condemned  in  mistake  for  his  son, 
Frangois.^  Here  the  error  was  not  due  to  Fouquier. 
Cofiinhal,  who  presided  at  the  session  on  that  day,  and  the 
registrar's  clerk  must  alone  bear  the  responsibility  for  the 
additional  words  that  exist  on  the  page  of  questions  pro- 

^  M.  Louis  Comber  gives  an  entirely  different  account  of  the 
LoizeroUes  trial.  Cf.  Episodes  et  Curiosites  Revolutionnaires, 
p.  307.— Tr. 


A    FATHER'S    SACRIFICE 


99 


pounded  to  the  jury,  and  which  were  employed  for  drawing 
up  the  verdict.  The  first  document  in  this  bundle^  is  a 
general  list  of  the  prisoners  at  Saint-Lazare,  numbered 
in  the  Public  Prosecutor's  hand.  We  read  there  :  "  No. 
i8,  Loizerole,  the  son."  This  is  not  a  reference  to 
the  father.  On  the  indictment,  signed  by  Fouquier, 
there  is,  in  the  hst  of  accused  persons  :  "  No.  5,  Frangois- 
Simon  Loizerolles,  the  son,  aged  twenty-two,  born  in  Paris, 
residing  at  No.  82,  Rue  Victor."  This  is  not  a  reference  to 
the  father.  In  the  body  of  this  indictment  :  "  Loizerolles, 
Primpin  (one  of  the  accused),  and  others,  the  priests  Brognard 
and  Broquet,  have  not  ceased  since  the  Revolution  from 
displaying  the  most  pronounced  aversion  and  hatred  for  the 
sovereignty  of  the  people  and  for  equahty."  That  is  all. 
Yet  at  the  moment  the  questions  were  propounded  to  the 
jury,  Coffinhal's  hand  had  corrected  and  written  Jean 
instead  of  Francois,  father  instead  of  son,  sixty-one  years 
instead  of  twenty-two.  Coffinhal's  hand  had  also  added  the 
words  "  a  former  lieutenant  of  the  baihwick  of  the  Arsenal, 
an  ex-noble,"  which  apply  to  the  father.  The  official  report 
of  the  session  and  of  the  verdict-  reproduce  the  form  adopted 
and  imposed  by  Coffinhal. 

The  father  sacrificed  himself  for  his  son  without  protest, 
and  he  stoically  allowed  himself  to  be  guillotined  in  his  place. 
Fouquier,  when  brought  to  trial  after  the  9th  of  Thermidor, 
defended  himself  against  the  charge  of  having  committed 
this  criminal  error  by  saying  :  "  After  the  odious  law  of  the 
22nd  of  Prairial,  there  was  no  longer  any  examination  in 
order  to  procure  the  Christian  names  and  descriptions  of 
the  prisoners  brought  before  the  Tribunal ;  it  was  necessary 
to  send  to  the  different  houses  of  detention  where  they  were, 
and  the  man  who  went  to  Lazare  to  take  the  Christian 
names,  the  age,  and  the  description  of  Loizerolles,  the  father, 
did  not  take  care  to  ask  if  there  were  several  Loizerolles,  and 
he  took  the  Christian  names  and  description  of  the  son,  who 

'  Archives  Nationales.  W.  431,  No.  968. 

^  They  are  in  the  handwriting  of  Jacques  Derbez,  registrar's  clerk. 
W.  431,  No.  968. 


100  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

presented  himself  instead  of  the  father,  although  his  note 
bears  the  name  of  Loizerolles,  the  father  ;  those  names, 
descriptions,  and  age  were  filled  in  by  the  secretary  of  the 
prosecutor's  office  just  as  they  were  brought  back." 

Fouquier  blunders  here.  For  on  the  general  list  of  the 
Saint-Lazare  prisoners  selected  to  be  sent  to  the  Tribunal, 
can  still  be  read,  under  No.  i8,  the  name  of  Loizerolles,  the 
son,  and  nowhere  is  there  a  reference  to  that  of  the  father. 
But  where  Fouquier  is  right  is  when  he  incriminates  Coffinhal 
and  the  registrar's  clerk  :  "  This  omission  and  this  crime, 
if  they  really  exist,  are  due  to  President  Coffinhal  and  to 
the  registrar's  clerk  who  was  responsible  for  the  session, 
and  not  to  the  Public  Prosecutor's  deputy,  who,  no  more 
than  the  latter,  ever  signed  the  minutes  of  the  verdicts 
and  could  in  no  way  be  responsible  for  them."  We  shall 
hear  the  evidence  of  Loizerolles,  the  son,  at  Fouquier's 
trial. 

In  conclusion,  let  us  recall  that  on  the  7th  of  Thermidor 
(July  25),  at  six  o'clock  in  the  evening,  at  the  Oiseaux,  a 
tranquil  prison  where  the  prisoners  paid  very  highly  for  their 
board,  and  where  it  seems  that  until  then  there  was  a  desire 
to  forget  them,  a  noise  was  heard  in  the  street.  An  immense 
chariot,  drawn  by  four  horses,  had  stopped  before  the  door. 
Four  gendarmes  and  an  usher  of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal 
entered  the  prison.  The  janitor  had  to  ring  the  bell. 
At  this  summons,  the  prisoners  assembled  in  the  courtyard.^ 
The  roll  was  called.  Eleven  prisoners  were  chosen  to 
enter  the  chariot.  Among  them  were  the  Princesse  de 
Chimay,  the  Comtesses  de  Narbonne-Pelet  and  Raymond- 
Narbonne,  the  Comte  de  Clermont-Tonnerre  (74  years  old), 
the  Marquis  de  Crussol  d'Amboise,  and  M.  Simeon  de  Saint- 
Simon,  Bishop  of  Agde  (70  years  old).  When  these  eleven, 
had  entered,  the  chariot  started  off  and  went  to  Port- 
Libre  and  to  Plessis.  It  was  at  Plessis  that  it  "  loaded  " 
Therese-Fran9oise  de  Stainville,  Princesse  de  Grimaldi- 
Monaco  (26  years  old),  she  whom  Fouquier  called  "  the 
woman  Monaco,"  in  a  letter  of  the  same  date  addressed  to  the 
1  Memoires  sur  les  Pyisons,  II.,  p.  189. 


MISTAKES    IN    IDENTITY  loi 

members  of  the  Popular  Commission,  claiming  from  them 
documents  against  a  certain  number  of  persons  such  as 
"  Crussol  d'Amboise,  Clermont-Tonnerre,  the  woman  Chimay, 
Saint-Simon,  the  woman  Querrohen,  the  woman  Monaco," 
etc.,  for  he  had  not  received  the  said  documents,  and  "  those 
persons  wiU  be  brought  to  trial  to-morrow."^ 

The  Princesse  de  Monaco  declared  herself  pregnant.  On 
the  following  day  she  withdrew  her  statement.  She  had 
only  wanted  to  gain  time  to  write  to  her  children  and  to  send 
them  her  hair.  The  decision  which  declared  her  not  preg- 
nant and  which  ordered  her  execution  is  dated  the  9th  of 
Thermidor.2  She  must  have  formed  part  of  the  last  cart- 
load. 

To  sum  up  :  the  Pubhc  Prosecutor,  overworked  and  broken 
down,  was  no  longer  able  to  draw  up  his  writs  of  indict- 
ment himself.  He  had  them  drawn  up  by  his  secretaries. 
Those  documents  no  longer  contained  even  the  semblance 
of  a  proof.  Entire  famihes  were  sent  to  the  guillotine.  The 
motive  ?  They  had  conspired.  Where  ?  When  ?  How  ? 
There  was  no  answer. 

Each  evening  Fouquier-Tinville  arranged  that  "  batches  " 
of  accused  persons  should  be  put  on  trial  next  day.  Quanti- 
ties of  documents  were  lacking.  He  claimed  them.  He 
wanted  them  at  once.  But  time  pressed,  and  he  had  re- 
ceived an  order  to  draw  up  the  case  for  the  prosecution  for 
the  next  day.  Mistakes  as  to  persons  were  made,  criminal, 
irreparable  mistakes,  since  there  was  but  one  penalty — the 
guillotine.  So-and-so  was  charged  in  mistake  for  so-and-so, 
condemned  in  mistake  for  so-and-so,  guillotined  for  so-and- 
so.  All  this  is  easy  to  verify  to-day.  The  documents  exist 
among  the  Archives. 

Fouquier-Tinville  was  in  close  touch  with  those  hireUngs, 
the  police  spies  of  the  prisons.  These  wretches  gave 
evidence  at  the  pleadings,  if  one  can  call  pleadings  sessions 
of  some  hours  at  which  sixty  prisoners  are  tried  in  an  after- 
noon and  condemned  to  death.     Moreover,  at  some  of  the 

1  Archives  Nationales,  F'  4,  436,  liasse  T.,  p.  9. 
*  W.,  432,  dossier  971,  2nd  part,  p.  47. 


102   THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

sessions,  only  the  police  spies  appeared  as  witnesses.  Take 
for  example  the  session  of  the  19th  of  Messidor  (the  first 
"  batch  "  from  the  Luxembourg)  when  there  were  sixty- 
accused,  all  of  whom  were  condemned,  and  only  five 
witnesses,  of  whom  four  were  spies,  and  the  fifth  a  turnkey, 
Lesenne,  who,  not  having  the  heart  to  lie,  said  he  had  not 
known  of  a  conspiracy  in  the  prison.  Fouquier  had  him 
arrested  before  the  session  ended.  Take  another  example 
— the  second  "  batch  "  from  Saint-Lazare,on  the  7th  of 
Thermidor.  There  were  three  witnesses,  three  spies, 
Manini,  Pepin  Desgrouettes  and  Coquery. 

On  the  official  reports  of  the  sessions,  the  jurors  were  no 
longer  even  designated  by  their  names.  Did  they  fear 
future  responsibility  if  the  form  of  government  were  to 
change  ?  Was  there  not  time  enough,  or  did  no  one  take 
the  trouble  to  inscribe  their  names  ?  The  matter  remains 
a  mystery. 

That  Fouquier,  devoted  as  he  was  to  his  task,  hardened  as 
he  may  have  become,  should  feel  himself  exhausted  ;  that 
he  should  recognise  that  he  and  his  staff  were  worn  out 
beyond  the  limits  of  human  strength  ;  that  he  no  longer 
saw  clearly  in  that  atmosphere  of  fever  and  blood  in  which  he 
lived  ;  that  he  declared  himself  overwhelmed  ;  that  he  said 
to  the  attendants  in  the  refreshment-room  of  the  Tribunal, 
the  Morisans,  in  a  moment  of  communicativeness  and  dis- 
gust :  "I  would  rather  dig  the  ground  !  " — all  this  is 
reasonable  and  human.  None  the  less,  he  remained  at 
his  post  and  was  anxious  to  remain  at  it. 

Did  he  reflect,  did  he  think,  did  he  meditate  on  what  had 
been  accomplished  in  sixteen  months  ?  All  that  blood ! 
All  that  red  frenzy  !  All  those  heads  that  "  fell  "  !  All 
those  human  existences  cut  off !  Those  young  women ! 
Those  young  girls  !  Those  old  men  !  Those  young  men  ! 
So  many  human  lives  for  an  imaginary,  or  at  least  a  doubt- 
ful plot  ! 

But  that  he  reprobated  his  task,  that  he  understood  that 
too  much  was  too  much,  and  that  the  hour  was  near  when  he 
must  give  account — for  everything  has  to  be  paid  for,  and 


THE   LAST   ACT  103 

violence  attracts  violence — this  does  not  appear.  Nothing 
in  his  attitude  as  a  tenacious  official,  exact  and  firm  at  his 
post,  indicates  this. 

The  poHtical  drama  is  at  its  last  act.     We  have  reached 
the  9th  of  Thermidor. 


CHAPTER  IV 

FOUQUIER-TINVILLE    AND    THE    NINTH    OF    THERMIDOR 

ON  the  night  of  the  gth  of  Thermidor,  Fouquier- 
Tinville  was  late  in  returning  home  to  the  Palace 
of  Justice. 

He  had  been  to  dehver  to  the  Committees  of 
Public  Safety  and  of  General  Security  the  two  hsts  it  was 
his  duty  to  furnish  to  them  ;  one  containing  the  names 
of  prisoners  tried  during  the  past  ten  days  ;  the  other  those 
of  the  "  conspirators  "  to  be  brought  before  the  Tribunal 
during  the  following  ten  days.^ 

At  ten  o'clock  on  the  morning  of  the  9th  of  Thermidor,  he 
had  taken  his  place  at  the  Tribunal  in  the  Hall  of  Equahty. 
Dumas  presided  over  the  session,  assisted  by  Antoine  Marie 
Maire,  Gabriel  DeUege,  and  Jean  Baptiste  Henry  Antoine 
Felix  as  judges. 

The  court  was  open  to  the  pubhc.  Nine  jurors  entered, 
whose  names  on  this  day  were  given  in  the  official  report  of 
the  session — Specht,  Magnien,  Potherat,  Masson,  Deveze, 
Buttin,2  Gauthier,  Fenaux,  and  Laurent. 

The  accused  were  led  to  the  bar.  There  were  twenty-five. 
Four  old  men  of  from  seventy  to  seventy-five,  beside  young 
men,  and  others  in  the  prime  of  hfe,  and  there  were  three 
women.     A  lamentable  spectacle  presented  itself  before  the 

1  It  was  by  a  resolution  of  the  Committee  of  Public  Safety  that 
Fouquier  had  to  hand  in  these  lists.  He  continued  to  furnish  them 
up  to  and  inclusive  of  the  9th  of  Thermidor.  Buchez  and  Roux, 
XXXIV.,  p.  239. 

»  Buttin  is  mentioned  on  this  particular  day  in  the  two  official 
reports  of  the  sessions  held  at  the  same  time,  one  in  the  Hall  of  Equal- 
ity, the  other  in  that  of  Liberty.  This  demonstrates  once  again  the 
haste  and  carelessness  with  which  the  judicial  documents  were  com- 
piled during  Messidor  and  at  the  beginning  of  Thermidor  in  the 
year  II. 

104 


A    PITILESS    TRIBUNAL  105 

public,  a  public,  however,  surfeited  by  these  exhibitions, 
which  had  now  lasted  for  sixteen  months.  One  of  the 
accused,  an  old  man,  deaf,  blind,  and  in  his  second  child- 
hood, was  carried  in  by  the  gendarmes  and  placed  on  the 
prisoners'  bench.  On  the  previous  day  he  had  been  trans- 
ferred from  the  Luxembourg  to  the  Conciergerie.  Three 
gendarmes  and  Budelot,  the  coachman  of  the  Tribunal, 
helped  him  down  from  the  carriage.  The  state  he  was  in 
when  he  arrived  was  such  that  the  whole  of  his  clothing  had 
to  be  changed.  Too  stupefied  to  know  where  he  was,  his 
eyes  deprived  of  light,  his  ears  not  hearing  the  questions, 
and  his  palsied  tongue  incapable  of  articulating  any 
intelligible  sound,  he  was  unaware  of  the  terrible  Tribunal. 
He  was  the  ex-Accountant-General,  M.  Durand  Puy  deVerine. 
His  wife  appeared  with  him,  she  also  was  charged,  then  her 
name  erased,  and  finally  re-inserted. 

The  Public  Prosecutor's  witnesses  were  introduced.  To 
twenty-five  prisoners  there  were  only  five  witnesses,^ and  even 
those  five  witnesses  had  only  to  do  with  three  of  the  accused. 

Dumas  had  the  jurors  sworn.  These  then  took  their 
seats  in  the  court,  facing  the  accused  and  the  witnesses. 
The  President  told  the  accused  that  they  could  be  seated,  and 
then  questioned  them  on  their  names,  ages,  professions,  resi- 
dences, and  places  of  birth.  The  registrar  read  the  writ 
of  indictment.  Drawn  up,  on  the  previous  evening,  under 
Fouquier's  supervision,  this  writ  at  first  contained  fifteen 
names.  But  as  it  was  impossible  for  him,  in  his  rapid  task, 
to  identify  twelve  of  those  names,  the  Public  Prosecutor  had 
crossed  out  the  twelve  following — those  of  a  stonemason, 
an  innkeeper,  a  seller  of  lemonade,  three  soldiers,  a  major 
and  his  wife,  those  of  three  other  persons,  and,  lastly,  that  of  a 
woman  whose  identity  was  not  sufficiently  estabhshed  by  two 
mascuHne  Christian  names,  doubtless  those  of  her  husband.^ 
Then  making  out  a  new  list,  Fouquier  rapidly  drew  up  a  writ 
of  indictment  against  twenty-one  other  prisoners.  But 
here  again  a  difficulty  arose.     One  of  the  accused,  Louis 

'  W.  433,  dossier  973. 

'  Those  twelve  persons  were  saved  by  the  9th  of  Thermidor. 


io6  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

Clair  Maurin,  whose  place  of  birth  was  unknown,  was  affirmed 
to  be  dead.  Fouquier  wrote  on  the  margin  condemned. 
Dumas  wrote  dead.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  Louis  Clair  Maurin, 
who  had  been  confused  with  Jean  Dominique  Maurin,  guillo- 
tined on  the  19th  of  Messidor,  had  himself  been  guillotined 
on  the  22nd.  Another;  Jean  Baptiste  Lafond,  37  years  of 
age,  an  ex-priest,  whose  place  of  birth  was  also  unknown, 
and  whom  Fouquier  has  described  as  "  an  intriguing  ex-canon, 
a  frequenter  of  gambling  dens,  a  gambler  in  the  funds," 
could  not  be  found.  He  was  mentioned  under  the  heading 
of  absent.  Was  it  in  order  to  replace  these  two  who  were 
missing  that  the  Public  Prosecutor  "  reinserted  "  on  his  list 
Perronnet  Brillon-Busse  and  Jeremie  Saint-Hilaire,  "  at  first 
omitted  as  having  been  mistaken  for  others  "  ?  Here 
they  were  at  the  session.  Fouquier's  list  is  complete — 
there  are  twenty-five  accused  in  all.^ 

The  system  of  amalgams  was  working  better  than  ever.  At 
this  session,  in  the  Hall  of  Equahty,  a  lawyer  and  former 
agent  of  Conde's,  was  arraigned  with  an  ex-Treasurer  of 
France  ;  an  ex-Mayor  with  a  captain  of  cavalry  of  Conde's 
regiment  ;  an  architect  with  an  ex-justice  of  the  peace. 
Who  were  the  others  ?  An  ex-noble,  an  ex-cashier  of  a  glass 
factory,  a  teacher  of  astronomy  born  at  Oppenheim  in  the 
Palatinate,  an  upholsterer  of  the  Rue  Mouffetard,  an  iron- 
monger of  the  Rue  Saint-Martin ;  the  divorced  wife  of  a 
commissary,  an  ex-legislator  and  an  ex-noble,  a  merchant 
born  at  Villeneuve-d'Agen  ;  two  poor  chimney-sweepers, 
whom  the  indictment  described  as  ex-nobles,  and  who  actually 
were  the  Loisons,  husband  and  wife,  managers  of  the  marion- 
ette theatre  of  the  Champs-Elysees  ;  a  private  in  the  17th 
battalion  of  infantry ;  a  captain  of  a  mounted  regiment ; 
a  clerk  in  the  administration  of  public  lands  ;  an  upholsterer 
to  "  Capet's  aunts  "  ;  a  bailiff  of  the  Haute-Marne  ;  finally, 
Pierre  Durand  Puy  de  Verine,  ex-Accountant-General,  and 
his  wife,  Marie  Marguerite  Barcos,  a  sad  and  dismal  couple 
already  marked  with  the  immobility  of  death. 

All  those  accused  persons  are  mentioned  by  Fouquier- 

*  W.  433,  dossier  973. 


THE    NIGHT   OF   THE    NINTH 


HERMIDOR,    I.N     nil-    Vl.AR    II. 


TRUMPED-UP    CHARGES  107 

Tinville  as  "  suspected  of  having  engaged  in  operations 
tending  to  excite  trouble,  of  having  passed  and  signed 
resolutions  tending  to  favour  and  propagate  the  system  of 
federalism  and  to  impede  the  circulation  of  provisions,  of 
having  held  communication  and  correspondence  with  the 
internal  and  external  enemies  of  the  Republic,  of  having 
caused  help  in  money  to  be  sent  to  them  in  order  to  facihtate 
their  invasion  of  French  territory." 

Care  must  be  taken  not  to  be  deceived  by  the  formulae  dear 
to  Fouquier,  Dumas,  and  Cofhnhal.  In  reaUty,  the  first  three 
prisoners,  Jean  Antoine  Lhuillier,  Sebastien  Alaroze  La- 
brenne,  and  Gabriel  Francois  Salle,  were  the  only  ones 
against  whom  there  exist  the  elements  of  proof  in  the  port- 
foUos  of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal.  Vainly  were  proofs 
sought  against  the  others.  And  what  proofs  !  The  facts 
are  that  on  August  4,  1793,  the  municipal  officers  of  the 
seven  municipalities  forming  the  canton  of  Chevagne,  in  the 
district  of  Moulins,  in  the  Department  of  the  Allier,  assem- 
bled at  Chevagne,  were  confronted  by  a  menacing  dearth  of 
provisions,  and  had  proposed  to  have  recourse  to  mutual 
union  and  assistance  in  all  that  concerned  the  means  of 
subsistence.  They  proposed  to  aid  the  adjoining  districts 
with  their  surplus  of  corn,  if  there  were  any.  They  showed 
themselves,  besides,  determined  to  defend  the  necessary  and 
indispensable  products  of  their  own  district  by  all  legal  means. 
Could  that  be  made  out  as  a  crime  ?  Very  prudent  and  wise 
measures  were  taken  with  a  view  to  realise  this  aspiration. 
But  on  August  13,  the  executive  council  of  the  Department 
of  the  Allier  had  decreed  that  this  deliberation  bore  all  the 
marks  of  illegahty  and  anarchy,  that  it  "  tended  to  give  the 
idea  of  federahsm,"  and  was  "  an  attempt  against  unity 
and  indivisibility"  and  against  "the  distribution  of  pro- 
visions." Out  of  fifteen  who  had  signed  the  proposal,  four 
had  been  arrested — Lhuilher,  Labrenne,  Salle  and  Durand, 
the  President.  Then  the  President  had  been  set  free.  The 
three  others  were  to  be  tried  in  the  revolutionary  style.  On 
the  30th  of  Floreal  they  had  appeared  before  the  director  of 
the  jury  d' accusation  of  the  tribunal  of  the  district  of  Mouhns. 


io8  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

They  had  to  answer  this  question  :  "  What  had  been  their 
views  and  for  what  motive  had  they  proposed  on  August  4, 
1793,  in  the  canton  of  Chevagne,  to  prevent  the  distribution 
of  grain  necessary  for  the  existence  of  their  fellow-citizens 
who  ought  to  be  as  dear  to  them  as  themselves,  and  to  whom 
they  owed,  according  to  natural  law  and  humanity,  every 
assistance  even  to  the  exhaustion  of  the  product  of  their 
harvests  which  the  Supreme  Being  had  preserved  and  des- 
tined for  all  their  fellow-citizens  as  well  as  for  themselves. 
The  territory  of  France  belongs  to  the  whole  Republic. 
Consequently  all  individuals  inhabiting  it  have  equal  rights. 
If  they  were  imbued  with  these  truths,  they  would  not  have 
fallen  into  the  illegality  of  anarchy  that  could  not  but  give 
the  idea  of  federalism."  On  the  6th  of  Messidor  of  the 
year  II.,  a  judgment  of  the  criminal  tribunal  of  the  AUier 
ordered  all  the  documents  in  the  case  to  be  sent  to  Fouquier- 
Tinville.  He  was  to  "  consider  in  his  wisdom  whether  he 
ought  to  cause  those  accused  to  be  brought  before  the 
Revolutionary  Tribunal."^  The  Public  Prosecutor  of  Mou- 
lins  having  asked  his  colleague  of  Paris  if  there  was  ground 
for  issuing  a  warrant  only  against  the  three  accused  persons 
indicated  as  ring-leaders,  or  if  it  were  necessary  to  include  the 
fifteen  signatories  to  the  measure,  Fouquier-Tinville  had 
answered  by  the  following  note  :  "  Warrant  against  the 
three  chiefs  only."    That  was  why  Jean  Antoine  Lhuillier, 

1  "  While  uncertain  as  to  the  line  you  will  take,"  the  Public  Prose- 
cutor of  the  Allier  wrote  to  Fouquier,  on  the  9th,  "  I  think  I  am  antici- 
pating your  wishes  in  telling  you  that  the  general  opinion  of  the 
patriots  of  the  district  is  that  almost  all  the  signatories  of  this  pro- 
posal are  good  ignorant  citizens,  as  are  our  rural  inhabitants,  whose 
signatures  have  been  tricked  from  them,  that  they  did  not  know 
they  were  being  made  to  commit  an  act  of  liberticide,  and,  on  the 
contrary,  believed  they  were  only  labouring  for  the  public  good 
which  they  have  not  ceased  to  love.  It  is  thought  also  that  the 
author  of  this  whole  business  is  Lhuillier,  a  former  agent  of  the  traitor 
Conde,  and  that  Labresne  and  Salle,  formerly  privileged  persons,  had 
a  great  deal  to  do  with  it."  It  is  thought  !  Everybody  did  not 
think  thus.  For  one  can  see  among  the  papers  a  certificate  and  a 
fervent  petition  from  the  citizens  of  the  commune  of  Chezy  in  favour 
of  Alaroze  Labresne,  "a  magistrate  necessary  to  their  commune," 
signed  by  "  the  small  number  of  those  who  can  write." 


THE    ARREST    OF    THE    PRESIDENT        109 

Sebastien  Alaroze  Labrenne,  and  Gabriel  Fran9ois  Salle 
appeared  before  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal  on  this  gth  of 
Thermidor,  in  the  Hall  of  Equahty. 

As  for  the  others,  nothing  in  the  documents  indicates 
what  really  was  their  crime.     There  is  no  material  evidence. 

The  reading  of  the  writ  of  indictment  had  ended.  The 
voice  of  Pesme,  the  registrar,  ceased.  In  the  court  five 
individuals  got  up  and  went  out.  These  were  the  witnesses 
brought  forward  by  the  Pubhc  Prosecutor  and  summoned 
at  his  request.  It  was  about  noon.  The  weather  was  heavy 
and  thunder-laden.  Through  the  open  windows  the  great 
hum  of  Paris  was  heard.  A  name  rang  out,  called  by  the 
usher.  It  was  that  of  the  first  witness,  Dupont,  a  member  of 
the  revolutionary  committee  of  the  Beaurepaire  Section. 
He  knew  Loison,  the  director  of  the  theatre  of  marionettes. 
He  made  his  declaration.  One  after  another  there  entered 
and  gave  evidence  the  spy  Jobert  (the  Belgian) ;  an  engraver 
who  knew  the  prisoner  Lavoisien  ;  Lambert,  a  trader  ; 
Descaffe,  without  profession,  and  Aubert,  an  innkeeper, 
who  knew  the  prisoner  Marche,  an  usher. 

Fouquier-Tinville  then  began  to  speak,  and  expounded  his 
writ  of  indictment.  He  described  the  means  by  which  he 
would  prove  his  case.  No  defender  answered  him,  the 
defence  having  been  suppressed  by  the  law  of  Prairial. 

Then  the  jury  were  invited  to  retire  to  their  room  to 
deliberate.  The  President  caused  the  prisoners  to  with- 
draw.    The  Tribunal  remained  in  session. 

Suddenly  there  was  a  thunderbolt.  The  President  of  the 
Revolutionary  Tribunal  had  just  been  arrested  whilst  sitting. 
An  order  of  the  Committee  of  Pubhc  Safety  !  He  was  led 
away.  Citizen  Maire,  one  of  his  assessors,  replaced  him,  and 
the  session  went  on  amid  general  amazement.^ 

1  The  judgment  on  Lhuillier  and  others,  to  the  number  of  25, 
condemned  to  death,  ends  thus  : — 

"  Given  and  pronounced  on  the  gth  of  Thermidor  of  the  second 
year  of  the  Repubhc,  at  the  pubhc  session  at  which  sat  Rene  Fran9ois 
Dumas,  President,  Antoine  Marie  Maire,  Gabriel  Dehege,  and  Jean- 
Baptiste  Henry  Antoine  Fehx,  judges,  who  have  signed  this  present 
judgment  with  the    registrar's    clerk,  and   at  the   moment  of   the 


no  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

Nothing  in  Fouquier-Tinville's  attitude  betrayed  emotion 
or  anxiety.  He  was  master  of  himself.  Did  he  suspect 
the  causes  of  the  brutal  arrest  of  the  President  ?  Did  he 
know  of  the  violent  speech  delivered  by  Dumas  on  the 
previous  day  at  the  Jacobin  Society  during  the  tumultuous 
session  when  Robespierre  defined  the  political  situation  in 
these  menacing  terms  :  "  It  is  easy  to  see  that  factious  per- 
sons are  afraid  of  being  unmasked  in  the  people's  presence  ; 
moreover,  I  thank  them  for  having  distinguished  themselves 
in  so  pronounced  a  manner,  and  for  having  made  me  better 
acquainted  with  my  enemies  and  those  of  our  country  "  ? 

Did  Fouquier  know  that  Dumas,  mounting  the  tribune, 
had  denounced  the  conspiracy  as  by  no  means  doubtful, 
and  the  Government  as  counter-revolutionary  ?  Did  he 
know  that,  addressing  those  who,  at  the  beginning  of  the 
session,  had  quarrelled  with  Robespierre  about  the  right  to 
speak,  Dumas  exclaimed  :  "  It  is  strange  that  men  who 
for  several  months  have  kept  silence,  ask  to  be  allowed  to 
speak  to-day,  doubtless  to  oppose  the  expression  of  the 
crushing  truths  that  Robespierre  has  just  made.  It  is  easy 
to  recognise  in  them  the  heirs  of  Hebert  and  Danton.  I 
prophesy  to  them  that  they  will  also  inherit  the  fate  of  those 
conspirators,"^ 

Towards  half-past  one,  a  report  was  current  at  the 
Tribunal  that  the  Faubourg  Saint-Antoine  was  in  an  uproar, 

delivery  of  the  jury's  verdict,  the  President  having  retired,  Citizen 
Maire  has  performed  his  duties  as  President.  (Signed)  Maire, 
Dehege,  FeUx,  Pesme."  (W.  433,  No.  973-)  On  the  margin  of  the 
third  page  of  this  judgment  (on  the  back)  Pesme,  the  registrar's  clerk, 
has  written,  "  Note.  This  judgment  was  given  on  the  day  of  the 
arrest  of  the  traitor  Dumas,  and  it  was  impossible  to  procure  the 
names  of  some  of  the  birthplaces  and  residences. — M.  P."  "  Dumas 
was  arrested  on  his  seat  at  noon."  Robert  Wolff's  evidence  at 
Fouquier-Tinville's  trial.     W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  10. 

1  Dumas  when  arrested  was  transported  to  and  imprisoned  in 
Sainte-Pelagie,  at  4  o'clock.  "  Several  individuals  came  to  take  him 
away.  The  weakness  of  the  janitor  is  the  reason  that  he  got  out. 
Immediately  on  learning  this  fact,  we  (the  Committee  of  General 
Security)  had  the  janitor  of  Sainte-Pelagie  arrested."  (Voulland  at 
the  Convention.  Session  of  the  13th  of  Fructidor,  year  II.  See  the 
Moniteur.) 


THE    VERDICT  iii 

that  grave  trouble  was  to  be  feared,  that  drums  were  beating 
to  arms.i 

The  session  continued,  or  rather  the  sessions.  For  in  the 
Hall  of  Liberty,  at  the  same  hour,  twenty-three  prisoners 
were  on  trial.  Scellier  presided  ;  Grebeauval,  Fouquier's 
deputy,  occupied  the  seat  of  the  Public  Prosecutor.  Fou- 
quier  had  revised  and  signed  the  indictment  on  the  previous 
day,  the  8th  of  Thermidor. 

But  the  jurors  in  the  Hall  of  EquaUty  caused  Maire  to  be 
informed  that  they  were  ready  to  give  their  verdict.  They 
entered  and  each  resumed  his  place.  One  after  another  the 
President  called  on  them,  and  asked  them  to  give  their 
*'  vote  "  on  each  of  the  questions  propounded  to  them,  and  in 
the  order  in  which  they  appeared  in  the  memorandum  they 
held  in  their  hands.  It  was  a  memorandum  drawn  up  by 
Dumas  before  the  trial,  that  morning  or  on  the  previous 
evening,  the  terrible  brevity  and  the  embarrassing  formula 
of  which  deserve  to  be  recorded.  It  is  to  those  enigmatic 
and  evil  questions  that  men  incapable  of  judging  in  cold 
blood  or  possessing  a  knowledge  of  the  case  were  going  to  give 
answer.  From  the  way  in  which  Dumas  made  out  this 
hst  of  questions  they  were  certain  to  be  completely  bewil- 
dered. Yet,  on  their  "  yes  "  the  lives  of  twenty-five  accused 
persons  depended. ^ 

^  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  10. 

-  Here  are  some  of  the  questions  propounded,  as  Dumas  made  out 
the  minute  : — 

"  Are  they  convicted  of  having  declared  themselves  enemies  of 
the  people,  that  is  to  say  : — 

I,  Charpentier  ;  2,  Valot ;  3,  Durand  {sic)  ;  4,  the  woman  Durand 
{sic)  ;  5,  Larcher  (sic)  ;  6,  Brillon  Busse ;  7,  Saint-Hilaire  ;  8, 
Vrigny  ;  by  keeping  up  a  correspondence  with  the  internal  enemies 
of  the  State,  tending  to  favour  the  invasion  of  French  territory  and 
to  destroy  public  liberty.  9,  Soumesson  ;  10,  Lavoisien  ;  11,  Gillet ; 
12,  Loison  ;  13,  the  woman  Loison  ;  14,  Legay ;  15,  Duval ;  16, 
Mongelchot  ;  17,  Guerin  ;  18,  Foicier  ;  19,  Vatrin  ;  20,  Coqueau  ; 
by  joining  the  coalition  of  conspirators  leagued  against  the  people, 
seeking  to  corrupt  the  public  mind,  to  repress  patriotism,  employing 
trickery,  menace,  and  violence  to  favour  the  tyranny  of  Capet,  the 
triumph  of  the  factions,  and  the  destruction  of  liberty.  21,  the  woman 
Coriolis,  by  instigating  the  humiliation  and  dissolution  of  the  national 
representation.     22,  Lhuilher ;     23,  Alarose  La  Brenne  ;    24,  Sall6, 


112    THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

The  jury's  declaration  was  affirmative  in  regard  to  all  the 
prisoners  except  the  woman  Coriolis,  who  was  acquitted. 
The  other  twenty-four  were  condemned  to  death  in  con- 
formity with  the  provisions  of  Articles  IV.,  V.  and  VI.  of  the 
law  of  Prairial.  Their  property  was  declared  confiscated 
to  the  Repubhc  to  be  used  for  the  subsistence  of  widows  and 
orphans,  "  if  they  have  no  other  resources." 

The  session  ended.  In  the  courtyard  of  the  Conciergerie 
was  already  heard  the  rumbling  of  the  carts  which  Fouquier 
caused  to  be  prepared  to  carry  away  the  condemned.  There 
were  sLx  of  them,  and  none  too  many  ;  for  the  other  session, 
that  of  the  Hall  of  Liberty,  had  decided  well  also.  Twenty- 
one  had  been  condemned,  and  there  was  also  the  Princesse 
de  Monaco,  whose  death-warrant  Dumas  had  signed  that 
morning  in  the  council  chamber.^  Total :  forty-six  heads 
doomed  to  fall  before  night  at  the  Barrier  of  Vincennes. 

It  was  half-past  two  o'clock.  At  the  Convention,  Maxi- 
miUen  Robespierre  had  just  flung  at  his  opponents,  who  were 
shouting,  "  Long  live  the  Republic  !  "  the  bitter  retort, 
"  The  Republic  !  It  is  already  ruined,  for  the  brigands  are 
triumphant." 

Three  days  before,  on  the  6th  of  Thermidor,  Fouquier  had 
dined  at  the  house  of  Citizen  La  Jariette,  in  the  Rue  Meslay, 
with  Deputies  Goupilleau  de  Fontenay,  Cochon  de  Lapparent, 
Morisson,  and  some  members  of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal, 
SceUier,  Coffinhal,  and  Grebeauval.  A  friend  of  La  Jariette, 
Jean  Baptiste  Vergnhes,  a  man  comfortably  off,  living  on  his 
income,  was  at  the  dinner.  Coffinhal,  his  neighbour  in  the 
lie  Saint-Louis, 2  had  said  to  him  :  "  You  ought  to  invite 
to  your  house  to-morrow  the  members  of  the  Revolutionary 
Tribunal  who  are  here  this  evening."  Vergnhes  had  said 
"  yes,"  and  given  the  invitation.     Fouquier,  saying  he  had 

by,  on  August  4,  1793,  instigating  the  formation  of  illegal  assemblies 
and  passing  resolutions  tending  to  prevent  the  distribution  of  pro- 
visions and  to  excite  civil  war  by  famine.  25,  Mareche,  by  instigating 
through  his  speeches  and  proceedings  the  dissolution  of  the  national 
representation  and  the  re-establishment  of  tyranny. 

1  Archives  Nationales,  W.  432,  No.  971,  2nd  part,  p.  47. 
J    *  Cof&nhal  lived  in  the  Rue  Le  Regrattier. 


A    TRAGIC    MOMENT  113 

engagements  on  the  7th  and  8th,  proposed  the  gth,  which 
was  adopted. 

They  had  then  arranged  to  meet  on  that  day  between 
three  and  four  o'clock,  at  the  house  of  Vergnhes,  at  the 
western  end  of  the  He  Saint-Louis  (He  de  la  Fraternite) 
at  No.  I,  Quai  Egalite,  formerly  Quai  Bourbon.^ 

Accompanied  by  Cofhnhal,  the  Vice-President,  and  the 
juror  Desboisseaux,  a  member  of  the  General  Council  of 
the  Commune  of  Paris,  Fouquier-Tinville  was  about  to  leave 
the  Palace  of  Justice  to  keep  this  invitation  when  one  of  the 
executioner's  assistants  approached  him.  He  informed  the 
Pubhc  Prosecutor  that  trouble  had  broken  out  in  the  Fau- 
bourg Saint-Antoine  through  which  the  carts  must  pass 
on  their  way  to  the  Barrier  of  Vincennes.  The  same  observa- 
tion was  made  to  him  by  two  employees  in  the  ushers' 
office,  Andre  Contat  and  Etienne  Simonnet.  They  told  him 
that  "  things  were  going  to  happen  in  Paris  ;2  that  it  would  be 
prudent  not  to  go  on  with  the  executions,  that  it  might 
endanger  the  guard,  etc."  Fouquier  stopped  and  listened  to 
them.  For  a  moment  he  paused  to  think.  A  tragic  moment, 
during  which  the  fate  of  forty-six  human  beings  was  to  be 
decided  !  For  a  moment  he  pondered,  and  turning  to  the 
executioner's  assistant  said  :  "  The  course  of  justice  must 
not  be  stopped.     Proceed  !  " 

A  Uttle  farther  on  he  met  Adnet,  the  captain  of  gendarmes, 
who  told  him  that  Hanriot  had  given  orders  to  arrest  Botot- 
Dumesnil,  the  commander  of  the  gendarmes  attached  to 
the  Tribunals.  Ought  the  carts  to  start  ?  This  news  should 
have  been  enough  to  give  pause  to  Fouquier.  But  nothing 
could  do  that.  "  I  cannot  stop  the  course  of  justice,"  he 
answered  Captain  Adnet. 

The  carts  started,  carrying  the  unfortunate  persons,  who 
twenty-four  hours  later  would  have  been  saved  ;  carrying 
the  paralytic  Durand  Puy  de  Verine  and  his  wife,  the 
Loison  couple,  the  charming  and  heroic  Princesse  de  Monaco. 
The  carts  started,  and  Fouquier  departed  to  sup  with 
Vergnhes. 

*  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  46.  '  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  58. 

H 


114  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

During  the  meal  there  was  no  discussion  of  the  events 
of  the  day,  neither  of  the  arrest  of  Dumas,  which,  however, 
"  had  struck  the  guests  who  were  members  of  the  Revolu- 
tionary Tribunal,  and  Fouquier^  in  particular,  with  con- 
sternation," nor  the  tragic  facts  of  which  at  that  very  hour 
the  Convention  was  the  scene.  Fouquier  ate  little. ^  His 
host,  "  who  saw  him  only  for  the  second  time,"  asked  himself 
whether  this  consternation  was  "  the  result  of  astonishment 
or  of  complicity."^ 

From  the  windows  of  the  house  in  which  Vergnhes  lived 
it  was  easy  to  perceive  what  was  taking  place  in  the  Com- 
munal House.  About  five  o'clock,  at  the  moment  when 
this  melancholy  repast  was  ending,  loud  noises  and  a  pro- 
longed clamour  were  heard,  and  some  one  cried  : 

"  Look  at  the  crowed  in  the  square.  They  are  workmen. 
It  might  be  a  riot." 

Vergnhes's  servant  came  to  say  that  they  were  workmen 
protesting  against  the  law  of  the  maximum.  The  noise 
increased.  A  quarter  of  an  hour  afterwards  this  servant, 
who  had  been  out  for  news,  returned  to  say  that  Robespierre 
and  his  friends  had  been  arrested,  and  that  the  crowd  was 
rushing  towards  the  Commune.  Coffinhal,  a  member  of  the 
General  Council,  rose,  and,  sending  for  his  sash,  said  :  "I 
am  going  there  !  "  "  My  post  is  in  my  office  where  I  might 
receive  orders  at  any  minute,"  said  Fouquier.  "  I  am  going 
there."  Vergnhes,  "  a  little  agitated  by  these  disturbances," 
listened  to  the  advice  of  one  of  the  guests.  Tampon,  a  judge 
of  the  Tribunal  of  the  Third  Arrondissement,  and  went  to 
his  Section,  and  Tampon  started  for  his.* 

Fouquier,  accordingly,  returned  straight  home.  Pro- 
ceeding along  the  Quai  aux  Ormes,  he  encounted  Oudart, 
the  President  of  the  Criminal  Tribunal.^  They  walked  to- 
gether to  the  Palace.     Beside  them,  quite  close,  on  the  Place 

1  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  46. 
»  Ihid. 
»  Ibid. 

*  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  64. 

'  The  Criminal  Tribunal  tried  crimes  and  offences  against  the 
common  law. 


"I    REMAIN    AT    MY    POST"  115 

de  la  Maison  Commune,  the  riot  raged.  They  did  not  stop. 
They  edged  past  the  riot,  which  ignored  them.  They  were  in 
a  hurry  to  get  back,  Fouquier  above  all. 

At  the  Palace  of  Justice,  in  this  company  of  Terrorist 
officials,  now  terrorised,  everybody  was  trembling  for  himself. 
And  here  came  the  "  chief."  Usually  violent  and  morose, 
he  was  this  evening  silent,  dejected,  circumspect.  He  was 
desirous  of  knowing  what  was  going  to  happen.  He  sent  out 
for  news. 

He  called  for  Adnet,  the  police  officer,  who  gave  him  an 
account  of  the  different  events  of  the  day  from  the  time  of 
his  departure.  Commander  Botot-Dumesnil  had  been 
arrested  at  four  o'clock,  in  the  midst  of  his  troop,  by  order 
of  Hanriot,  Lescot-Fleuriot,  and  Payan,^ 

Fouquier  said  :  "  I  remain  at  my  post." ^  At  six  o'clock  in 
the  evening  he  was  with  his  wife,^  doubtless  to  reassure  her, 
whilst  in  his  own  mind  there  sprang  up  and  increased  an 
anxiety  that  he  did  not  wish  to  show. 

At  eight  o'clock,  Dubesne,  the  heutenant  of  gendarmes, 
called  to  give  him  an  account  of  his  mission.  The  execution 
of  the  condemned  had  taken  place  "  with  the  usual  calm." 
Fouquier  at  this  hour  was  at  home,  "  in  his  domicile,"  with 
Scelher,  the  Vice-President  of  the  Tribunal,  and  Grebeauval, 
one  of  his  deputies.^  He  left  his  apartments,  and  went  to 
the  place  where  he  usually  spent  his  evenings  before  going 
to  the  Committee,  to  the  refreshment-room  of  the  Tribunal, 
where  he  was  to  remain  throughout  this  long  evening  of  the 
9th  of  Thermidor.  There  he  was  to  be  seen  and  heard. 
Witnesses  were  afterwards  able  to  say  how  correct  was  his 
attitude,  how  "  pure  "  his  conduct,  how  irreproachable  his 
utterances.  The  "  scoundrel  "  Dumas,  his  enemy,  was  doubt- 
less going  to  pay  with  his  head  for  his  audacity  in  having  con- 
spired against  the  Convention.  He,  Fouquier,  the  executant 
of  the  law,  the  vigilant  and  indefatigable  purveyor  of  the 
guillotine,  remained  at  his  post,  and,  unshaken,  awaited  the 
orders  of  the  Convention  and  the  Committees. 

A  melancholy  evening,  this  spent  with  the  Morisans,  the 

>  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  46.  *  Ibid.  ^  Ibid.  *  Ibid. 


ii6  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

attendants  in  the  refreshment-room  of  the  Tribunal.  The 
toscin  was  heard  sounding.  An  enormous  clamour,  like  gusts 
of  wind,  rose  through  the  night,  and  died  away  against  the 
walls  of  the  Palace  of  Justice.  Groups  formed  in  the 
sweltering  streets,  and,  in  the  depths  of  the  gaols,  prisoners, 
who  had  resigned  themselves  to  an  early  execution,  were 
astounded  and  attentive. 

The  man  who,  for  sixteen  months,  had  appeared  as  the  all- 
powerful  exterminator,  as  the  axe  and  rods  suspended  over 
human  existence,  this  man  was  to  the  Morisans  a  customer, 
regular  in  his  habits,  a  good  and  homely  fellow.  Several 
times  they  heard  Fouquier  complain  that  his  trade  was  a 
cruel  one,  that  he  would  prefer  "  to  dig  the  ground."  Several 
times  they  heard  him  ask  :  "  Were  there  many  people  at 
the  executions  ?  "  and  when  they  answered,  "  Yes,"  he 
would  say  :  "  It  is  frightful !  What  a  wretched  trade  !  " 
And  he  would  shrug  his  shoulders.^  Several  times,  after 
the  22nd  of  Prairial,  they  had  heard  him  say  :  "  The  times 
are  very  cruel ;  it  cannot  last."  They  often  heard  him 
complain  of  Dumas,  his  rival. 

The  heat  was  stifling.  About  nine  o'clock  Fouquier 
descended  to  the  refreshment-room  and  ordered  a  bottle  of 
beer.  He  had  just  learned  that  Botot-Dumesnil  had  been 
set  at  liberty  by  the  Committee  of  General  Security.  He 
sent  for  him,  desirous  of  knowing  what  was  happening. 
Botot-Dumesnil  despatched  orderlies  for  news.  Fouquier 
also  sent  out  Malarme,the  secretary  of  the  prosecutor's  ofhce. 
On  several  occasions  he  said  :  "  Whatever  is  done,  I  remain 
at  my  post." 

One  after  another  fragments  of  news  came  to  him.  Maxi- 
mihen  Robespierre,  his  brother  Augustin,  Couthon,  Saint- 
Just,  and  Lebas  had  been  unanimously  impeached  by  the 
Convention.  Lebas  had  been  sent  to  the  Conciergerie ; 
Augustin  to  Saint -Lazare  and  then  to  La  Force  ;  Saint- 
Just  to  the  Ecossais,  Couthon  to  La  Bourbe,  Maximilien  to 
the  Luxembourg.  But  the  janitor  of  that  house  had, 
it  appears,  refused  to  receive  him  by  virtue  of  an  injunction 
1  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  45  bis. 


THK    ARREST    OF    ROBESPIERRE 


A    PROVISIONAL    COMMITTEE  117 

of  the  police  administrators  not  to  admit  any  prisoner 
without  their  orders.^  Robespierre  insisted  on  being  im- 
prisoned. In  vain.  He  was  then  led  to  the  offices  of  the 
police  administration  on  the  Quai  des  Orfevres.  The  General 
Council  of  the  Commune  had  appointed  a  provisional  execu- 
tive committee  composed  of  nine  members — Payan,  Coffin- 
hal,  Louvet,  Lerebours,  Legrand,  Desboisseaux  (the  Des- 
boisseaux  with  whom  Fouquier  had  dined  at  the  house  of 
Vergnhes  some  hours  before),  Chatelet,  Arthur,  and  Grenard, 
Hanriot  had  been  arrested  and  replaced  by  Giot,  of  the 
Theatre  Frangais  Section,  who  had  taken  an  oath  to  serve 
the  country.  Coffinhal  and  Desboisseaux,  about  ten  o'clock, 
both  wearing  national  sashes,  sabre  in  hand  and  at  the  head 
of  a  body  of  artillerymen,  forcing  all  the  doors  of  the  Com- 
mittee of  General  Security  at  the  Tuileries,  calling  for 
Robespierre  with  loud  cries,  had  invaded  the  Committee, 
gone  over  the  whole  building,  and  carried  off  Hanriot  by 
force.  2 

But  the  drama  continued.  On  VouUand's  proposal,  the 
Convention,  sitting  at  night,  had  outlawed  Robespierre, 
his  brother  Augustin,  Saint- Just,  Couthon,  and  Lebas  as 
traitors  to  the  country.  Their  friends  rescued  them  from 
the  prisons.     They  were  at  the  Commune. 

Fouquier,  on  learning  this  news,  said  :  "I  remain  at  my 
post  even  if  I  perish  there." 

On  several  occasions  emissaries  of  the  rebel  Commune 
came  to  him  and  tried  to  induce  him  and  the  members  of  the 
Revolutionary  Tribunal  to  come  "  into  its  bosom,"  and  to 
make  common  cause  with  the  refugees  and  the  outlaws.^ 
They  invited  him  to  the  Hotel  de  Ville.  He  sent  them  back. 
He  answered  that  he  recognised  the  Convention  alone. 
Twice  during  the  evening  he  sent  Malarme  to  the  Committee. 
He  was  anxious  to  make  it  known  that  he  was  at  his  post, 
at  the  Tribunal.  Malarme,  coming  back,  found  him  at 
supper  with  Morisan,  the  attendant  in  the  refreshment- 
room,  his  wife,  their  daughter,  and  their  son-in-law,  Gillier, 

*  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  39.  ^  W.  434,  No.  975,  p.  23. 

^  Fouquier's  Memorial  for  his  defence. 


ii8  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

the  secretary  of  the  prosecutor's  office.^     It  was  past  mid- 
night. 

At  this  moment  a  torrential  shower  fell  upon  Paris,  flooding 
the  streets,  and  dispersing  the  crowds  and  even  the  delegates 
from  the  Convention,  who,  by  the  light  of  torches,  had 
just  proclaimed  the  decree  of  outlawry.  A  sort  of  lull,  an 
abatement,  took  place.  A  long  silence.  Then,  suddenly 
on  the  other  bank  of  the  Seine,  there  was  a  volley  of  cannon 
and  the  trampling  of  troops.  The  Convention,  on  Voulland's 
proposal,  had  ordered  Barras  to  lead  his  armed  force  against 
the  Hotel  de  Ville,  against  the  insurgent  Communal  House. 
Barras  and  Leonard  Bourdon  had  put  themselves  at  the 
head  of  the  columns  of  the  Convention,  divided  into  two 
sections — one  proceeding  along  the  quays  with  Barras,  the 
other  along  the  Rue  Saint-Honore  with  Bourdon.  It  was 
one  o'clock  in  the  morning. 

The  Pubhc  Prosecutor,  accompanied  by  Deguaigne, 
the  usher,  Budelot,  the  Tribunal's  coachman,  and  Demay, 
left  the  Palace  of  Justice,  crossed  the  Pont-Neuf,  and  went 
to  the  Committees  of  Public  Safety  and  of  General  Security, 
which  had  assembled  together.  He  was  anxious  to  be  seen 
steadfast  at  his  post.  There  he  heard  from  Thuriot  and 
Merhn  (of  Thionville)  of  the  victory  of  the  Convention. 
Maximihen  Robespierre  was  grievously  wounded.  The 
Commune  was  beaten. 

Early  morning  approached.  The  gray  dawn  lit  up  the 
victory  of  Thermidor.  A  new  task  was  preparing  for  the 
Tribunal  and  for  Fouquier.  He  returned  with  his  three 
companions  to  the  Palace  of  Justice.  He  had  a  right  to  a 
well-earned  rest.  His  conscience  testified  to  him  that  it 
would  be  difficult  to  have  shown  "  purer  behaviour  "  than 
his.     It  was  half-past  three,  and  he  went  to  bed. 

But  his  sleep  was  of  short  duration.  At  five  o'clock  he 
was  awakened  by  Leonard  Bourdon,  the  Representative  of 
the  people,  who  brought  him  orders. 

1  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  45  ter. 


CHAPTER    V 

THE    REACTION    OF    THERMIDOR    AND    FOUQUIER-TINVILLE'S 

ARREST 

SUSPENDED    at   six   o'clock   in    the   morning,    the 
session  of  the  Convention   was  resumed  at  nine. 
The  Department   of    Paris  came  to  congratulate 
the  Assembly  on  having  saved  the  country.      The 
Revolutionary  Tribunal  was  afterwards  admitted  to  the  bar. 
One  of  its  members  spoke  :  ^ 

"  Citizens,  representatives,"  he  said,  "  you  have  just 
covered  yourselves  with  glory  ;  we  come  to  join  our  congratu- 
lations to  those  you  will  receive  from  the  whole  of  France  ; 
we  come  to  glory  in  our  own  immovable  confidence — and 
it  will  always  be  the  same — in  remaining  attached  to  the 
national  representation  in  spite  of  the  efforts  the  conspirators 
last  night  did  not  cease  to  make  to  associate  us  with  their 
crimes.  Some  traitors  had  crept  into  our  bosom  ;  you  have 
known  how  to  distinguish  them,  and  soon  they  shall  feel 
the  punishment  due  to  their  crimes.  For  our  part,  entirely 
devoted  to  the  national  representation  and  to  our  duty, 
we  come  to  take  your  orders  for  the  trial  of  the  conspirators." 
(Applause.) 
Fouquier-Tinville  then  made  an  observation  : — 
"  There  is  a  difficulty,"  he  said,  "  which  checks  the 
progress  of  the  Tribunal.  The  municipal  officers  are  included 
among  the  great  offenders  whom  you  have  outlawed.  Now, 
in  order  to  execute  the  decree  against  the  rebels,  it  is  only 
necessary  to  verify  the  identity  of  their  persons.  But  in  this 
respect  I  point  out  that  there  exists  a  decree  requiring  that 
this  identity  should  be  verified  in  the  presence  of  two 
municipal  officers  of  the  accused  Commune  ;  now,  it  is 
1  The  Moniteur  only  calls  him  "  the  orator." 

119 


120  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

impossible  to  perform  this  formality  in  the  present  circum- 
stances when  the  municipal  officers  are  themselves  charged. 
I  ask  the  Convention  to  remove  this  difficulty."  ^ 

Thuriot  answered : ' '  The  Convention  ought  to  take  measures 
in  order  that  the  conspirators  may  be  punished  without 
delay  ;  any  delay  would  be  to  the  prejudice  of  the  RepubUc. 
The  scaffold  must  be  erected  immediately,  and  with  the  heads 
of  his  accomplices  must  fall  the  head  of  that  infamous  Robes- 
pierre who  proclaimed  to  us  that  he  beheved  in  the  Supreme 
Being,  and  who  only  believed  in  the  power  of  crime.  The 
soil  of  the  Repubhc  must  be  purged  of  a  monster  who  was 
in  a  position  to  have  himself  proclaimed  king.  I  demand 
that  the  Tribunal  withdraws  to  the  Committee  of  General 
Security  to  take  its  orders  and  that  it  returns  to  its  post." 

This  proposal  was  carried. ^ 

On  the  same  day,  at  one  o'clock  in  the  afternoon,  the 
Revolutionary  Tribunal  held  a  public  session  with  open 
doors.  Scellier  presided.  He  had  as  assistant-judges 
Foucault,  Bravet,  Maire,  Felix,  Laporte,  Harny,  Deliege, 
and  Garnier-Launay.3 

Fouquier-Tinville,  assisted  by  his  deputy,  Liendon,  was  in 
his  place,  and  demanded  the  appearance  at  the  session  of  the 
twenty-two  "  conspirators,"  all  decreed  to  be  guilty  of 
rebelUon  and  outlawed.  They  had  been  identified  by 
witnesses,  and,  moreover,  all  of  them  had  confessed. 

One  by  one  the  prisoners  were  introduced.  The  first  was 
Maximilien  Robespierre,  carried  on  a  stretcher,  his  head 
bandaged,  and  dying.  His  age  ?  Thirty-five.  His  identity 
had  been  attested  by  Pierre  Vincent  Augustin  Lecoin,  an  em- 
ployee at  the  Commission  of  Relations,  residing  in  Paris,  at 
the  Rue  du  Bac,  and  by  Jean  Fabre,  an  employee  in  the  office 
of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal,  residing  in  the  Rue  Jacob. 
— 2.  Georges  Couthon. — 3.  Louis  Jean  Baptiste  Lavalette, 
brigadier-general  of  the  army  of  the  North. — 4.  Fran9ois 
Hanriot,  ex-general  of  the  armed  forces  of  Paris. — 5.  Rene 
Francois  Dumas,   ex-President  of  the  Revolutionary  Tri- 

1  Moniteur,  12th  of  Thermidor,  year  II.  *  Moniteur,    Ibid. 

*  Archives  Nationales,  W.  434,  No.  975. 


merntre  cfiiCbmite  &3aiui  pukli  c 


THE    ROLL    CALL  121 

bunal. — 6.  Antoine  Saint-Just,  ex-Deputy  of  the  Convention, 
26  years  old. — 7.  Claude  Francois  Payan,  ex-juror  of  the 
Revolutionary  Tribunal,  ex-agent  of  the  Commune  of  Paris. 
— 8.  Jacques  Claude  Bernard,  ex-priest,  member  of  the 
General  Council  of  the  Commune,  and  chief  clerk  in  the 
Mayor's  Office. — 9.  Adrien  Nicolas  Gobeau,  provisional 
deputy  to  Fouquier,  member  of  the  Commune  of  Paris. — 
10.  Antoine  Gency,  cooper  and  ex-member  of  the  General 
Council  of  the  Commune. — 11.  Nicolas  Frangois  Vivier, 
ex-lawyer  and  judge  of  the  Tribunal  of  the  Third  Arron- 
dissement,  outlawed  by  the  Convention.  He  had  presided 
at  the  Jacobin  Club  the  night  before. 

Fouquier-Tinville  rose  and,  la3dng  down  his  hat  and  cloak, 
left  the  court.  He  did  not  wish  to  prosecute  his  friend,  Lescot- 
Fleuriot,  the  ex-Mayor  of  Paris.  His  deputy,  Liendon, 
took  his  place. ^ 

The  roll-call  went  on. — 12.  Jean  Baptiste  Edmond 
Lescot-Fleuriot,  artist,  ex-Mayor  of  Paris,  43  years  old, 
bom  at  Brussels. — 13.  Antoine  Simon,  shoemaker,  ex-member 
of  the  General  Council  of  the  Commune,  residing  in  Paris 
at  No.  32  Rue  Marat  (the  Simon  of  the  Temple,  the  Dauphin's 
tormentor). — 14.  Denis  Etienne  Laurent,  municipal  officer. 
— 15.  Jacques  Louis  Frederic  Wouarne,  an  employee  at  the 
Commission  of  Commerce  and  Provisions. — 16.  Jean 
Etienne  Forrestier,  smelter,  member  of  the  Commune. — 
17.  Augustin  Bon  Joseph  Robespierre  (the  younger),  ex- 
Deputy  of  the  Convention. — 18.  Nicolas  Guerin,  member 
of  the  General  Council  of  the  Commune. — 19.  Jean  Baptiste 

1  But,  as  Public  Prosecutor,  Fouquier  had  demanded  the  appear- 
ance of  his  friend  before  the  Tribunal.  Here  are  the  terms  in  which 
he  did  so  : — 

"  Citizens  and  representatives, 

"  A  decree  of  to-day,  providing  that  the  Mayor  and  ex- 
General  Boulanger,  both  outlawed,  shall  be  executed  without  delay, 
both  being  at  the  Committee,  I  request  you  to  give  orders  that  the 
gendarmes  bearers  of  this  present  shall  immediately  bring  them 
before  the  Tribunal,  the  judges  being  in  session  to  execute  the  law. 

"  Greeting  and  fraternity. 

"  The  loth  of  Thermidor  of  the  Year  II.  of  the  Republic  one  and 
indivisible.     A.  Q.  Fouquier." 


122  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

Mathieu  Dhazard,  hair-dresser  and  ex-member  of  the  Com- 
mune.— 20.  Christophe  Cochefer,  formerly  an  upholsterer, 
member  of  the  General  Council  of  the  Commune. — 21. 
Charles  Jacques  Mathieu  Bougon,  an  ex-messenger  at  the 
stamp  office,  ex-member  of  the  General  Council  of  the 
Commune. — 22.  Jean  Marie  Guenet,  timber  merchant, 
member  of  the  General  Council  of  the  Commune. 

The  Tribunal  ordered  that  the  twenty-two  above- 
mentioned  conspirators  should  be  at  once  handed  over  to 
the  executioner  of  criminal  judgments,  the  execution  to 
take  place  on  the  Place  de  la  Revolution.  By  five  o'clock 
on  the  loth  of  Thermidor,  they  were  dead. 

On  the  following  day,  the  nth  of  Thermidor,  seventy 
outlaws,  members  of  the  General  Council  of  the  rebel  Com- 
mune, were  handed  over  to  the  executioner  of  criminal  judg- 
ments.^ Fouquier  had,  on  the  previous  day,  asked  for 
ten  or  eleven  carts  to  be  sent  to  the  Conciergerie  for  this 
execution.  We  know  this  from  the  evidence  of  Etienne 
Desmorest,  the  executioner's  assistant.  But  the  official 
report  of  the  session  has  no  mention  of  the  Public  Prosecutor's 
name.  He  is  represented  by  Liendon  and  Royer,  his 
deputies. 

On  the  following  day  a  last  "  batch  "  of  twelve  members 
of  the  General  Council  of  the  Commune  went  to  the  scaffold. 
They  were ' '  convicted  of  having  taken  part  in  the  liberticidal 
and  rebellious  deliberations  of  the  Commune  of  Paris  on  the 
ninth  day  of  the  present  month,  and  on  the  night  between 

1  Charles  Huant  Desboisseaux,  the  juror  of  the  Revolutionary 
Tribunal  and  member  of  the  Commune,  who  had  sat  with  Fouquier 
in  the  Hall  of  Equality  on  the  9th  of  Thermidor,  and  afterwards 
went  with  Fouquier  to  dine  at  the  house  of  Vergnhes — this  Desbois- 
seaux was  included  among  the  70  outlaws. 

During  the  tragic  night  he  had  gone  out  of  the  Commune  between 
midnight  and  one  o'clock.  Wandering  about,  he  had  been  at  differ- 
ent eating-houses  ;  he  had  supped  with  Cofifinhal,  at  the  Ecu,  in  the 
Rue  d'Enfer,  then  had  gone  home  to  see  his  wife  ;  he  did  not  find  her, 
saw  the  seals  on  his  house,  and  again  wandered  about  until  six 
o'clock  in  the  evening,  and  finally  entered  the  house  of  Citizen 
Martin,  a  lemonade  seller,  on  the  Quai  aux  Ormes.  Information 
was  lodged  against  him,  and  he  was  arrested  there,  and  brought  to 
the  Conciergerie. 


FOUQUIER    DENOUNCED  123 

the  ninth  and  tenth,  and  of  having  participated  in  the  said 
dehberations  whilst  it  (the  Commune)  sheltered  in  its  bosom 
traitors  ordered  by  the  National  Convention  to  be  arrested."  ^ 

At  the  session  of  the  Convention  on  the  14th  of  Thermidor, 
Lecointre  (of  Versailles)  demanded  the  repeal  of  the  law  of 
the  22nd  of  Prairial,  relating  to  the  organisation  of  the 
Revolutionary  Tribunal. 

"  It  is  a  veritable  martial  law,"  he  said. 

The  saying  was  true.  It  met  with  success.  There  was 
applause.     The  Convention  unanimously  repealed  the  law. 

But  the  Tribunal,  whose  reconstruction  the  Committee 
had  proposed  at  the  Convention,  was  about  to  be  revived. 
And  at  the  head  of  the  hst  presented  by  Barere,  we  read : 
"  Public  Prosecutor,  Fouquier-Tinville." 

An  unexpected  and  striking  event  then  happened.  Freron 
the  journalist,  a  violent  man,  "  the  saviour  of  the  south," 
Freron,  who  on  the  9th  of  Thermidor,  had  demanded  the 
arrest  of  Couthon,  Saint- Just,  and  Lebas,  made  a  speech 
denouncing  Fouquier. 

"  All  Paris  demands  from  you  the  richly  merited 
punishment  of  Fouquier-Tinville.  You  have  sent  to  the 
Revolutionary  Tribunal  the  infamous  Dumas  and  the 
jurors  who,  along  with  him,  shared  the  crimes  of  the  scoundrel 
Robespierre.  I  am  going  to  prove  to  you  that  Fouquier 
is  as  guilty  as  they  were,  for  if  the  President,  if  the  jurors, 
were  influenced  by  Robespierre,  the  Public  Prosecutor  was 
equally  influenced  by  him,  for  he  drew  up  the  writs  of  indict- 
ment with  the  same  intention.  I  demand  that  Fouquier- 
Tinville  be  sent  to  stew  in  the  heU  of  blood  which  he  has 
shed.     I  demand  a  decree  for  his  accusation." 

Tumult.  Applause  on  all  sides.  Cries  of :  "  Put  the 
decree  of  accusation  to  the  vote." 

Turreau  opposed  the  decree.  "  It  would  be  honouring 
that  scoundrel  too  much.  I  demand  that  he  be  simply  put 
on  trial  before  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal." 

This  proposal  was  carried,  applause  breaking  forth  several 
times.  By  virtue  of  this  decree,  the  Committee  of  General 
1  Archives  Nationales,  W.  434,  No.  978. 


124  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

Security  passed  a  resolution  the  same  day  that  Fouquier- 
Tinville,  thePubhc  Prosecutor  of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal, 
be  arrested  immediately  and  taken  to  the  prison  of  the 
Conciergerie  ;  that  he  be  brought  to  trial  without  delay,  and 
that  seals  be  placed  on  his  papers.  Two  officers  of  the 
Committee,  Chandeher  and  Liniage,  were  charged  with  the 
execution  of  these  measures. 

The  victory  of  the  men  of  Thermidor  was  complete. 
Thus,  the  man  who,  four  days  before,  went  into  the  prosecu- 
tor's office  in  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal,  garbed  in  his  short 
cloak  and  wearing  his  raised  Henry  Quatre  hat,  who  pleaded 
against  Maximilien  Robespierre,  against  Saint-Just,  against 
his  own  enemy,  Dumas,  who  "  performed  their  toilet  and 
fitted  them  out  for  kingdom  come,"  was  to  learn  at  his  own 
expense  that,  in  its  continuous  evolutions.  Humanity  some- 
times displays  a  sudden  and  pitiless  abruptness. 

On  the  afternoon  of  that  14th  of  Thermidor,  about  half- 
past  two  o'clock,  the  news  reached  Fouquier  that  he  was 
to  be  brought  to  trial.  He  was  in  the  refreshment-room 
of  the  Tribunal,  drinking  his  usual  glass  of  brandy,  and 
talking  over  the  events  of  the  day  with  his  colleagues.  Two 
men  entered  and  went  up  to  him.  One  of  them  was  a  small 
hunchback,  Jean  Feuilles,  a  secretary  in  the  prosecutor's 
office,  and  devoted  to  the  Public  Prosecutor,  the  other  was 
unknown  to  him  ;   both  were  deeply  moved. 

Feuilles  approached  Fouquier  and  taking  him  aside 
said: 

"  Here  is  a  citizen  who  comes  from  the  Convention. 
He  has  been  a  witness  of  all  that  has  just  happened  there. 
You  are  to  be  put  on  your  trial  and  are  about  to  be  arrested. 
This  citizen  is  Cauchois,  Poincarre's  uncle." 

Fouquier  knew  Poincarre,  a  secretary  in  the  prosecutor's 
office,  well.  He  had  confidence  in  him,  for  the  prosecutor's 
office  had  not  ceased  to  be  favourable  to  the  Public  Prose- 
cutor, while  the  registrar's  office  was  hostile  to  him  since 
the  arrest  of  Paris,  called  Fabricius,  the  chief  registrar  of 
the  Tribunal,  and  since  the  execution  of  Legris,  the 
registrar's  clerk. 


LAST    HOURS    OF    FREEDOM  125 

"  Did  you  hear  the  decree  for  arresting  me  ?  "  inquired 
Fouquier. 

"  Yes,  I  heard  it." 

"  I  am  quite  easy  in  my  mind.  I  am  not  guilty.  I  will 
wait  until  they  come  to  arrest  me." 

And  he  swallowed  his  brandy. 

But  a  few  moments  afterwards,  he  left  the  refreshment- 
room,  went  up  to  his  ofhce,  and  spoke  of  the  decree  that 
had  just  been  passed  against  him,  adding  that  he  feared 
nothing.  He  afterwards  went  to  warn  his  wife,  the  gentle 
and  loving  Henriette  Jean  Gerard  d'Aucourt,  whom  he  mar- 
ried as  his  second  wife  twelve  years  before.  Having  reas- 
sured her,  he  proceeded  to  the  Tuileries,  to  the  Convention. 

For  the  last  time  he  pursued  the  way  he  had  so  often  trav- 
elled during  the  past  sixteen  months — over  the  Pont-Neuf, 
and  along  the  Quays.  The  heat  of  the  August  afternoon 
was  overwhelming.  It  was  three  o'clock.  The  murmur  of  the 
city  boomed  in  his  ears.  But  he  did  not  hear  it.  He  did 
not  see  the  familiar  spectacles  of  the  streets.  He  walked  on, 
in  a  maze,  in  a  dream  that  would  not  end.  The  Com- 
mittees would  hsten  to  the  evidence.  He  was  not  guilty. 
He  was  easy  in  his  mind.  Yet  it  was  not  long  before  that, 
returning  one  evening  from  the  Committee  of  Public  Safety, 
as  he  was  crossing  the  Pont  du  Change,  he  seized  his  com- 
panion, and,  pointing  to  the  Seine,  exclaimed  :  "  Look 
how  red  it  is  !  "  Was  he  drunk  that  evening  ?  Or  was  he 
overwhelmed  by  fatigue,  by  the  weight  of  his  work,  his 
colossal  labour,  he  who,  during  the  last  sixteen  months, 
had  frequently  not  slept  three  hours  a  night  ?  To-day,  this 
14th  of  Thermidor,  the  Seine  was  not  red.  Its  changing 
waters  flowed  on,  dancing  in  the  light.  With  his  hat  pulled 
down  over  his  face,  he  proceeded  along  the  quays.  He 
paused  before  the  Louvre  of  the  Valois,  his  vigorous, 
thick-set  form  wrapped  in  his  blue  frock-coat.  He 
continued  his  way  to  the  Tuileries. 

At  that  hour,  Chandelier,  Limage,  and  five  members  of  the 
Committee  of  General  Security,  accompanied  by  Debreaux, 
the  poUce-ofhcer,  presented  themselves  at  his  dwelling.    They 


126  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

found  there  only  a  woman  and  children.  They  called  upon 
Citizeness  Fouquier-Tinville  to  tell  them  where  the  Public 
Prosecutor  was. 

"  At  the  Convention,  at  least  that  is  what  the  messengers 
of  the  Tribunal  have  said." 

"  What  has  he  gone  to  do  at  the  Convention  ?  " 

"  I  don't  know,  at  all." 

"  You  are  deceiving  us,  for  you  knew  that  a  warrant 
had  been  issued  for  your  husband's  arrest  and  trial." 

"  Yes,  I  knew." 

"  Who  told  you  ?  " 

"  He,  himself  ;  but  I  do  not  know  who  told  him.  All  I 
know  is  that  the  news  was  brought  to  him  at  his  office  ; 
but  I  do  not  know  the  bearer.  The  office  attendants  might 
tell  you." 

They  immediately  asked  of  the  first  attendant  they 
saw,  Simon  Malparti,  if  he  knew  who  warned  Fouquier. 

"  A  private  citizen  who  is  the  uncle  of  Poincarre,  a  secre- 
tary in  the  prosecutor's  ofhce." 

Malparti  offered  to  take  Chandelier  into  the  offices  to  look 
for  this  uncle  in  the  presence  of  Deroziere,  the  pohceman. 
Cauchois  was  found  in  the  refreshment  room. 

He  was  put  through  the  usual  cross-examination.  He 
told  how  he  informed  his  nephew,  and  how,  when  he  heard 
it,  "  the  little  hunchback  "  as  he  was  called  at  the  Tribunal, 
said  that  Fouquier  ought  to  be  warned  immediately.  He 
had  taken  the  Public  Prosecutor  aside  and  had  told  him  that 
there  was  a  warrant  for  his  arrest ;  that  he  had  heard  the 
decree  pronounced.  Fouquier  had  answered,  in  the  presence 
of  Dehege,  the  Vice-President  of  the  Tribunal,  that  he  was 
quite  easy  in  his  mind,  and  was  waiting  until  they  came  to 
arrest  him.  It  was  Malparti  who  told  Limage  and  Chandelier 
that,  when  he  left  the  refreshment-room,  Fouquier  went  up 
to  his  office,  and  afterwards  to  the  Convention. 

It  was  the  Httle  hunchback's  turn  to  appear  before  the 
members  of  the  Committee. 

His  name  was  Jean  Feuilles.  He  was  twenty-seven  years 
old.     He  was  born  at  Viviers,  in  the  district  of  Coyron,  in 


THE    WARRANT    OF    ARREST  127 

the  Ardeche.  He  was  an  employee  in  the  prosecutor's  office 
of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal,  and  resided  in  the  City,  at 
No.  14,  Rue  Lanterne.  He  confirmed  the  statements  of 
Cauchois.     They  overwhelmed  him  with  questions. 

"  From  whom  did  you  hear  that  a  warrant  had  been  issued 
for  Fouquier-Tinville's  arrest  ?  " 

"  I  heard  it  from  a  citizen  of  whom  I  know  nothing  except 
that  he  is  a  friend  of  Citizen  Poincarre." 

"  Did  you  not  say  that  the  Public  Prosecutor  should  be 
warned  at  once  ?  " 

"  I  said  so  along  with  several  others  who  were  present, 
as  to  who  spoke  first,  I  do  not  remember.  All  I  know  is  that 
the  news  was  brought  to  the  witness-room,  that  Poincarre 
communicated  it  to  those  who  were  in  the  Council  Chamber, 
and  that  it  was  when  Poincarre  came  down  from  the  Chamber 
that  it  was  said  warning  ought  to  be  given  to  Fouquier- 
Tinville,  who  was  then  in  the  refreshment  room." 

' '  Could  you  give  the  names  of  those  who  were  present  and 
who  said  with  you  that  Fouquier  ought  to  be  warned  ?  " 

"  I  cannot  be  certain  of  any  of  them.  I  know  that  Poin- 
carre was  present ;  I  went  up  with  him  to  the  refreshment- 
room.     Poincarre  did  not  come  up." 

"  You  are  afraid  of  giving  the  names  of  citizens,  but  the 
truth  will  come  out." 

"  If  I  were  sure,  I  would  give  the  names,  but  I  am  afraid 
of  speaking  at  a  venture." 

"  Yet  a  witness  declares  that  it  was  you  who  spoke." 

"  Certainly,  I  spoke." 

"  With  what  intention  ?  " 

"  I  had  none." 

"  Did  you  say  that  some  one  ought  to  go  up  to  the  refresh- 
ment-room to  warn  him  ?  " 

"  I  said  so,  and  as  a  matter  of  fact  I  went  up  with  several 
citizens  whose  names  I  do  not  remember  and  with  the  man 
who  brought  us  the  news." 

"  Did  you  not  take  him  to  the  refreshment-room  ?  " 

"  I  went  with  him  there  ;   that  is  all  I  can  say." 

"  Who  spoke  in  the  refreshment-room  ?  " 


128  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

"  I  said  to  Fouquier  :  '  Here  is  a  citizen  who  comes  from 
the  Convention  and  who  has  been  a  witness  of  what  has  just 
taken  place.'  After  which,  that  citizen,  Poincarre's  friend^ 
informed  Fouquier  of  the  decree  which  ordered  his  arrest." 

"  Yet  a  witness  states  that  it  was  you  who  took  him  by 
the  arm,  brought  him  to  the  refreshment-room,  took  Fouquier 
aside,  and  told  him  what  you  had  just  heard," 

"  I  do  not  remember  exactly  what  took  place  ;  as  regards 
what  I  said  to  Fouquier,  I  refer  you  to  my  previous  answer." 

"  Knowing  that  this  decree  was  in  existence,  instead  of 
warning  him,  why  did  not  you,  yourself,  arrest  him  ?  " 

"  I  was  not  certain  about  it." 

Cauchois  and  Feuilles  were  searched  and  their  papers 
examined,  but  nothing  suspicious  was  found.  The  two 
employees  of  the  prosecutor's  office  were  arrested,  and  taken 
to  the  Committee  of  General  Security  as  suspected  of  having 
helped  in  Fouquier-Tinville's  escape. 

A  long  search  then  began  of  the  premises  of  the  Revolu- 
tionary Tribunal  and  the  Public  Prosecutor's  apartments. 
All  the  documents  found  in  the  prosecutor's  office  and  the 
registry  were  kept  there  under  the  guard  of  Captain  Adnet 
and  his  lieutenant,  Bernard.  Sentries  were  placed  at  all 
the  doors  of  the  registry  and  the  prosecutor's  office.  The 
papers  in  Fouquier' s  apartments  were  collected  and  placed 
in  a  cupboard  near  the  door,  to  the  right  of  the  entrance-hall. 
Citizens  Courtier  and  Derozieres,  the  gendarmes,  were 
appointed  their  guardians.  Those  which  the  commissioners 
found  in  "  Citizeness  Fouquier's "  portfolio  were  placed 
under  seal. 

The  windows  of  the  apartment  opened  on  a  little  balcony 
overlooking  the  Quai  de  I'Horloge.  In  the  course  of  their 
search.  Courtier  and  Derozieres,  who  had  gone  to  the 
window,  noticed  a  bundle  of  papers  that  had  fallen  or  been 
thrown  on  the  balcony.  This  the  agents  of  the  Committee 
of  General  Security  seized,  and  it  was  found  to  contain  six 
documents  which  were  placed  in  an  envelope  to  be  sent  to 
the  Committee. 

These  judicial  operations  were  not  finished  when  Captain 


FOUQUIER   AT   THE   CONCIERGERIE         129 

Adnet  and  Lieutenant  Bernard  announced  an  important 
piece  of  news  to  the  commissioners.  Fouquier-Tinville  had 
just  gone  back  to  the  Conciergerie,  where  he  had  surrendered 
himself  as  a  prisoner.  Botot-Dumesnil,  commander  of 
the  poUce  attached  to  the  Tribunal,  placed  him  under  arrest.^ 
Richard,  the  turnkey,  inscribed  his  name  on  the  prison 
registrar.     The  doors  of  the  gaol  closed  upon  him. 

But  the  Conciergerie  was  full  of  those  "  counter-revolu- 
tionaries "  and  those  "conspirators"  whom  the  Pubhc 
Prosecutor  was  reserving  for  the  "  batches  "  of  the  follow- 
ing days.  Two  days  previously,  on  the  12th  of  Thermidor, 
if  we  are  to  beUeve  an  usher  of  the  Tribunal,  he  had  said  : 
"  The  people  must  be  satisfied.  The  guillotine  is  busy.  It 
wiU  be  busier  still."  ^  Fouquier  was  recognised.  Hoots  and 
shouts  of  rage  echoed  all  about  him.  "  Wretch  !  Scoundrel !  " 
hostile  and  desperate  voices  called  out.  He  was  surrounded 
and  driven  into  a  comer.  He  was  on  the  point  of  falling 
when  the  janitor  and  his  assistants  intervened.  To  protect 
this  extraordinary  prisoner,  they  shut  him  up  in  a  dark  room, 
under  the  guard  of  a  gendarme. 

There,  at  the  mercy  of  his  own  thoughts,  in  the  dark,  like 
a  wild  beast  shut  in  his  den,  he  waited  and  thought. 

What  hatred  he  had  unloosed  !  What  a  cursed,  execrated 
name  was  his  !  How  all  those  people  detested  him !  And 
yet  he  asked  himself  whether  he  deserved  such  a  fate.  Day 
and  night  he  had  worked  "  to  lay  the  foundations  of  the 
Revolution  "  so  far  as  it  lay  in  his  power.  Ah,  why  on  the 
22nd  of  Prairial,  had  his  name  not  been  erased  from  the  list 
of  those  who  composed  the  Tribunal  ?     Why  would  they 

1  "  Paris,  14th  of  Thermidor  of  the  year  II.  of  the  French  Republic, 
one  and  indivisible. 
"  Citizen  President, 

"  I  inform  you  that  in  conformity  with  the  decree  of  the 
Convention  of  to-day's  date,  I  have  had  Fouquier,  the  ex-Public 
Prosecutor  of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal,  placed  under  arrest,  and 
that  he  is  now  detained  at  the  Conciergerie. 
"  Greeting  and  fraternity, 

"  Major  commanding  the  Gendarmerie  of  the  Tribunals, 

"B.    DUMESNIL." 

*  Joly's  evidence  at  Fouquier-Tinville's  trial. 
I 


130  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

regard  him  as  the  creature  of  Robespierre  and  Saint- Just  ? 
Why  treat  him  as  a  conspirator,  as  an  enemy  of  the  country, 
he  who  "  prided  himself  on  being  known  as  having  always 
succoured  oppressed  innocence,  the  poor  and  the  patriotic  "  ? 

The  night  was  passing.  From  hour  to  hour  the  vision  of 
his  past  work  grew  clearer  before  him.  His  methodical  mind, 
accustomed  to  the  quibbles  of  legal  procedure,  began  to 
classify  the  charges  that  were  to  be  brought  against  him, 
which  he  had  learned  that  afternoon  at  the  Committee.  Was 
he  thinking  of  his  loved  ones,  of  his  wife  and  children  who 
were  in  their  rooms  in  the  Palace  of  Justice  watching  in 
suspense  ?  Doubtless  ;  but  he  seemed  to  have  been  neither 
softened  nor  dejected.  He  was  coolly  preparing  for  the 
struggle,  just  as  he  coolly  performed  the  duties  of  his 
terrible  magistracy.  He  was  going  to  set  to  work  on  his 
defence. 

As  the  night  drew  to  an  end,  he  was  still  writing,  drawing 
up  his  first  memorial.  This  he  sent  to  the  Committee  of 
General  Security,  with  a  short  note  to  Louis  (of  the  Bas- 
Rhin). 

"  Paris,  this  i6th  of  Thermidor  of  the  second  year  of  the 
Republic,  one  and  indivisible. 
"  Citizen  Representative, 

"  Deign  to  oblige  me  by  presenting  to  the  Com- 
mittee of  which  you  are  a  member  the  enclosed  memorial 
which  I  send  you  ;  I  am  innocent,  I  ask  for  justice. 

"  Greeting  and  fraternity, 

"  A.   Q.   FOUQUIER." 

The  entire  memorial  should  be  read  to  show  Fouquier's 
state  of  mind  at  the  moment  following  his  arrest.  The 
lawyer,  the  subtle  Procurator,  aimed  at  proving  that  he 
was  not  guilty.  He  wished  to  appear  free  from  anxiety. 
He  thought  it  necessary  to  destroy  one  by  one  the  prejudices 
and  the  imputations  against  him.  He  would  invoke  in  his 
favour  humanity  and  justice.  He  claimed  to  be  innocent, 
a  victim  even,  and  seemed  to  believe  that  he  would  soon 
be  free. 


HIS    DEFENCE  131 

*'  Memorial  for  the  Defence,  to  the  General  Committee  of  Public 
Safety  of  the  Convention." 

"  On  behalf  of  Antoine  Quentin  Fouquier,  ex-Public  Prose- 
cutor to  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal,  who  surrendered  himself 
voluntarily  at  the  Conciergerie,  and  was  brought  before 
the  Revolutionary  Tribunal  by  a  decree  of  the  i^th  of 
Thermidor." 


(C 


I.  I  am  charged  with  having  made  out  writs  of  indict- 
ment against  patriots.  An  examination  of  the  registers 
refutes  that  charge  ;  for  by  inspecting  them  one  can  see  that 
for  the  most  part  the  indictments  have  been  directed  against 
acknowledged  conspirators.  It  is  possible,  however,  that 
among  the  informations  lodged  by  malevolent  persons,  there 
may  have  been  some  directed  against  patriots.  It  was  my 
great  anxiety  to  protect  myself  from  such  scheming  ;  and 
if  such  a  thing  has  happened,  it  is  certainly  a  misfortune 
that  renders  me  guilty  ;  for,  since  informations  and  charges 
came  into  existence,  the  law  imposes  on  the  Public  Prosecu- 
tor the  duty  of  ordering  the  proceedings  against  the  suspects 
indicated.  It  is  for  the  jurors  to  determine  in  their  wisdom 
the  value  of  the  charge  ;  and  the  conduct  of  the  Public 
Prosecutor  in  such  a  case  is  to  bring  forward  the  prisoner's 
defence.  Now,  it  is  notorious  that  at  the  Tribunal  I  have 
never  neglected  this  glorious  task.  I  pride  myself  on  being 
known  as  having  always  succoured  oppressed  innocence, 
the  poor,  and  the  patriotic. 

"2.  I  am  charged  with  having  been  one  of  the  creatures  of 
Robespierre  and  Saint-Just.  I  have  never  been  in  the 
latter's  house.  I  was  even  ignorant  of  where  he  lived.  As 
for  Robespierre,  I  have  only  been  at  his  house  once,  the  day 
of  the  attempt  on  Citizen  Collot  d'Herbois,  just  as  I  presented 
myself  at  the  house  of  the  latter.  I  have  never  been  there 
since,     I  defy  anybody  to  prove  the  contrary, 

"3.  I  am  suspected  of  having  had  knowledge  of  the 
conspiracy  which  broke  out  on  the  ninth.  On  my  honour 
I  protest  that  I  had  no  knowledge  of  that  conspiracy  until 
the  moment  of  its  discovery  by  the  Convention  ;   I  protest 


132  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

similarly  that  no  overture  was  made  to  me  by  any  of  the 
conspirators,  and  that  if  one  of  them  had  presumed  to  do  so, 
I  should  have  had  the  courage  to  inform  against  him  as 
I  have  had  the  courage  to  fill  the  perilous  post  I  occupied 
since  the  creation  of  the  Tribunal.  If  any  of  these 
scoundrels  had  made  overtures  to  me  in  any  way  what- 
ever regarding  that  horrible  conspiracy,  should  I,  on 
the  loth  of  Thermidor,  have  asked  in  court,  as  I  did,  for  the 
law  to  be  applied  against  the  Robespierres,  Saint- Just, 
Fleuriot,  Payan,  Hanriot,  and  Dumas,  all  acknowledged 
heads  of  that  conspiracy  ?  Should  I  not  have  rendered 
myself  liable  to  be  pointed  out  by  them,  if,  in  truth,  I  had 
been  their  accomplice  ?  I  have  fulfilled  my  duty  towards 
those  monsters,  as  towards  all  others,  because  I  have  a 
pure  conscience  and  have  never  been  implicated  in  any 
plot. 

"  In  support  of  that  conduct,  I  point  out  that,  when  dining 
about  four  months  ago  at  the  house  of  Citizen  Lecointre, 
the  Deputy,  with  several  others,  in  particular  Citizen  Merlin 
(of  Thionville),  I  had  a  conversation  with  him  that  doubtless 
he  will  remember,  which  will  prove  how  much  I  detested 
Robespierre's  despotism. 

"  A  few  days  before  the  last  reorganization  of  the  Tribunal, 
being  informed  that  it  was  desired  to  reduce  the  number  of 
jurors  from  nine  to  seven,  I  believed  it  my  duty  to  represent 
to  the  Committee  of  Pubhc  Safety  that  the  Tribunal  having 
up  to  that  time  enjoyed  pubhc  confidence,  this  reduction 
would  infallibly  cause  it  to  lose  that  confidence.  It  would 
provide  an  opportunity  for  saying  that  the  change  was  only 
contrived  because  these  responsible  for  this  reduction  had 
not  found  enough  creatures  devoted  to  them.  Robespierre, 
then  on  the  Committee,  shut  my  mouth  by  saying  that  it 
was  only  aristocrats  who  could  speak  in  such  a  way. 

"  Several  other  members  of  the  Committee  were  present. 
This  remark  caused  my  name,  as  I  have  since  been  told,  to  be 
erased  several  times  from  the  list  of  those  appointed  by  the 
decree  of  the  22nd  of  Prairial.  I  do  not  know  to  what  I 
owe  the  misfortune  of  having  been  restored  to  the  hst,  for. 


HIS    DEFENCE  133 

but  for  that  restoration,  I  should  not  to-day  be  groaning  in 
chains. 

"  As  for  the  provisions  of  the  decree  of  the  22nd  of  Prairial, 
I  have  several  times  spoken  of  their  rigour  to  the  Committee 
of  General  Security  ;  several  members  must  remember  it ; 
they  themselves  acknowledged  the  severity  of  the  provisions. 
They  must  have  asked  daily  for  their  reform  ;  but,  as  for  me, 
I  could  not  refuse  to  execute  the  decree  without  being  regarded 
and  even  treated  as  a  counter-revolutionary.  The  members 
of  the  Committee  of  General  Security  must  also  remember 
that  I  have  frequently  spoken  to  them  of  the  persistent 
opposition  of  Robespierre  to  the  execution  of  the  decree 
relating  to  Catherine  Theot,^  and  that  it  was  agreed  that 
Citizen  Vadier  should  make  a  supplementary  report.  As  a 
result  of  this  I  sent  him  all  the  documents,  and  they  are 
nov/  in  his  possession. 

"  For  about  a  month  the  increased  work  of  my  post  has 
not  allowed  me  to  go  to  the  Jacobin  Club.  I  have  not,  in 
consequence,  heard  any  of  the  speeches  or  denunciations  of 
Robespierre's  conspiracy,  or  the  diatribes  of  the  scoundrel 
Dumas.  I  have  heard  them  spoken  of,  and  it  is  known 
how  severely  I  censured  them.  Citizen  Martel,  the  Deputy, 
is  also  in  a  position  to  attest  how,  in  a  conversation  I  had 
with  him  about  eight  days  before  the  conspiracy  broke  out, 
I  blamed  the  despotism  that  Robespierre  exercised  over 
the  Committee  of  Public  Safety. 

"  My  conduct  on  the  9th  of  Thermidor  is  easy  to  estab- 
lish. I  was  in  court  until  half -past  two  o'clock.  I  dined 
with  several  colleagues,  and  returned  to  my  ofhce  at  the 
Palace  about  half-past  five  in  the  afternoon.  The  clerks, 
attendants,  and  other  persons  employed  at  the  Tribunal  are 
in  a  position  to  attest  this  fact.     They  are  also  able  to  prove 

1  The  visionary  whom  Vadier  had  represented,  in  his  speech  in 
the  Convention  on  the  27th  of  Prairial  in  the  year  II.,  as  keeping, 
at  her  dweUing  in  the  Rue  Contrescarpe,  "  a  primary  school  of  fanati- 
cism," and  whom  he  gave  out  to  be  an  agent  of  Pitt.  She  was  re- 
ported to  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal.  But  Robespierre  caused  an 
order  to  be  conveyed  to  Fouquier-Tinville  to  postpone  her  trial. 
See  Vilate's  memoirs,  The  Mysteries  of  the  Mother  of  God  Unveiled. 


134  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

that,  in  spite  of  the  many  emissaries  sent  to  me  by  the 
Commune  to  induce  the  members  of  the  Tribunal  and  myself 
to  enter  its  bosom,  and  to  acknowledge  it  alone,  my  answer 
was  that  I  acknowledged  only  the  Convention,  that  I  would 
remain  at  my  post,  as  I  did  until  one  o'clock  in  the  morning 
of  the  loth,  and  that,  accompanied  only  by  Citizens  Desgaigne 
the  usher,  Beudelot,  and  Demay,  I  went  to  the  assembled 
Committees  of  Public  Safety  and  General  Security,  where  I 
was  seen  by  a  great  part  of  the  members  and  by  Citizens 
Thuriot  and  Merlin  (of  Thionville),  the  Deputies,  who 
went  there.  I  returned  to  the  Palace,  where  Citizen  Leonard 
Bourdon  found  me  on  the  loth  at  half-past  five  ;  all  these 
facts  are  notorious  and  easy  to  prove.  It  is  difficult  to 
show  a  purer  conduct. 

"  Yet  I  am  summoned  before  the  Tribunal,  charged  with 
having  vexed  and  persecuted  the  patriots,  although,  at 
the  same  time,  I  am  called  a  wretch  and  a  scoundrel  by  all 
the  counter-revolutionaries  who  are  detained  at  the  Concier- 
gerie.  I  am  forced  to  stay  all  day  in  a  room  without  win- 
dows in  order  to  keep  myself  from  their  rage,  notwithstanding 
all  the  efforts  of  the  janitor. 

"  However,  consulting  my  conscience,  I  have  done  nothing 
to  bring  me  to  such  a  fate.  During  the  sixteen  months 
that  I  have  performed  the  painful  duties  of  Public  Prosecutor 
I  have  drawn  up  the  writ  of  indictment  against  Marie  An- 
toinette, and  caused  all  the  great  conspirators  to  feel  the 
sword  of  the  Law.  I,  who  would  not  find  in  any  country 
an  inch  of  ground  to  lay  my  head,  I,  who  am  the  born  enemy 
of  all  counter-revolutionaries,  who  would  hew  me  in  pieces 
if  they  could,  I,  who  have  spent  night  and  day  in  laying  the 
foundations  of  the  Revolution  so  far  as  it  lay  in  my  power  ; 
I,  who  have  never  acted  save  according  to  the  laws  eman- 
ating from  the  Convention  ;  I,  who  do  not  fear  the  severest 
examination  of  all  my  papers  even  though  I  should  have  to 
remain  the  longer  in  chains !  The  greater  part  of  the 
members  of  the  Committees  of  Public  Safety  and  General 
Security  know  my  principles,  my  actions,  and  my  thoughts  ; 
it  remains  therefore  for  me  only  to  submit  myself  entirely 


THE    TRUTH  135 

to  their  justice.  My  memorial  has  been  written  without 
pretension  and  even  with  a  sort  of  negUgence  in  style  which 
comes  from  the  sad  position  in  which  I  find  myself  ;  but  it 
expresses  the  truth. 

"  A.   Q.   FOUQUIER."  1 

"  Paris,  this  i6th  of  Thermidor. 

1  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  ist  dossier,  p.  in. 


PART   II 
THE   PRISONER 


CHAPTER    VI 

FOUQUIER-TINVILLE    PREPARES    HIS    DEFENCE 

THOUGH  a  prisoner  at  the  Conciergerie,  the  ex-PubHc 
Prosecutor  was  not  kept  in  sohtary  confinement. 
News  from  outside  reached  him.     He  knew  through 
the  vigilant  agency  of  his  wife  what  was  happening 
at  the  Convention  and  at  the  Jacobin  Club.     She  wrote  to 
him  and  kept  him  acquainted  with  what  was  said  and  what 
preparations  were  being  made  against  him. 

He  was  neither  downcast  nor  demorahsed.  He  was 
tenacious,  shrewd,  and  apparently  calm.  His  defence 
engaged  all  his  attention.  It  may  be  summed  up  in  this  : 
that  during  the  past  sixteen  months,  he  had  provoked 
(it  is  his  own  expression)  the  trials  of  more  than  two  thousand 
four  hundred  accused  persons.  He  claimed  that  he  had 
acted  only  according  to  the  decrees  of  the  Convention,  in 
conformity  with  the  laws  "  of  justice  and  humanity."  He 
was  tireless  in  furnishing  proofs  of  this  with  a  sort  of 
unconscious  obstinacy. 

His  first  memorial  for  his  defence  was  dated  the  i6th  of 
Thermidor.  On  the  17th,  in  a  second  memorial,  he  proceeded 
to  insist  upon  certain  isolated  facts,  giving  them  a  special 
importance,  discussing  them,  refuting  complaints.  He  had 
just  learned  that  the  imputation  made  against  him  of  having 
summoned  patriots  before  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal  had 
taken  a  more  precise  form,  that  those  patriots  had  been 
named,  that  they  were  the  inhabitants  of  Strasburg,  who 
had  been  tried  and  guillotined  less  than  two  months  before, 
on  the  29th  of  Messidor  (July  17).  He  hastened  to  reply 
to  the  Committee  in  a  "  supplement  "  to  his  memorial  for 
the  defence  of  the  day  before.     He  proceeded  to  set  out  the 

139 


140  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

facts.  "  Deprived  of  all  documents,"  he  wrote  from 
memory,  yet  his  memorial  was  excellent. 

Lebas  and  Saint-Just,  sent  on  a  mission  to  the  Depart- 
ments of  the  Upper  and  Lower  Rhine,  had  caused  the  arrest 
of  Euloge  Schneider,  "  the  executioner  of  Alsace,"  who  had 
been  convicted  of  exactions,  extortions,  violations,  crimes 
of  all  sorts.  Euloge  Schneider  was  none  other  than  the 
Pubhc  Prosecutor  of  Strasburg,  Fouquier's  provincial 
colleague. 

The  Strasburg  patriots  in  question,  Yung,  a  shoemaker, 
Michelot,^  a  paymaster  of  the  army  of  the  Rhine,  Monnet, 
a  teacher,  Frederic  Edelmann,  a  musician,  and  Louis 
Edelmann,  a  musical  instrument  maker,  were,  according  to 
Fouquier,  Schneider's  partisans.  They  declaimed  to  such 
an  extent  against  his  arrest  and  the  doings  of  the  represen- 
tatives of  the  people,  calling  them  "  disorganisers  "  and 
"  cannibals,"  that  Leban  and  Saint- Just  had  caused  them  to 
be  arrested  and  sent  before  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal. 
Fouquier  thus  exculpates  himself  : 

"  The  documents  relating  to  the  affair  were  sent  to  me 
by  the  Committee  of  Public  Safety.  I  made  out  the  indict- 
ment from  those  documents.  In  the  course  of  the  pleadings, 
I  took  care  to  remark  that  these  suspects  had  given  great 
proofs  of  patriotism  since  the  Revolution.  I  laid  stress, 
for  this  purpose,  on  all  the  attestations  that  they  produced 
for  me.  But  several  of  those  attestations  were  contra- 
dicted by  later  retractations  from  the  regenerated  society 
of  Strasburg,  all  of  which  are  attached  to  the  documents 
in  the  registry  of  the  Tribunal.  One  of  the  accused  has  been 
proved  innocent.  Where,  then,  is  my  crime  in  this  busi- 
ness ?  Could  I  refuse  to  make  out  an  indictment  or  to  bring 
to  trial  individuals  sent  to  the  Tribunal  by  representa- 
tives of  the  people  in  the  course  of  their  mission  ?  I  could 
no  more  do  that  in  their  case  than  in  the  case  of  those  sent  by 
the  Convention.  The  Law  imposed  that  duty  on  me.  .  .  ."  ^ 

What  he  does  not  say,  what  he  cannot  say,  is  that  when 

*  Michelot  was   acquitted. 

*  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  ist  dossier,  p.  no. 


ANTOINE   (,)UliNTIN    FOUQUIER-TIN VILLE 
From  a  contemporary  litJwgrapIi 


THE    TWO    EDELMANNS  141 

the  representatives  of  the  people  on  mission  to  the  army  of 
the  Rhine  had  recovered  from  their  prejudices  and  were 
convinced  of  the  patriotism  and  innocence  of  the  accused 
persons,  they  had  caused  them  to  be  set  at  hberty.  The 
documents  of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal^  contain  instruct- 
tive  certificates  given  to  those  Republican  patriots  by  the 
administrative  body  of  Strasburg.  Suddenly,  on  the  night 
between  the  12th  and  13th  of  Prairial,  they  had  again 
been  arrested  by  order  of  the  Committee  of  Public  Safety. 
It  was  impossible  for  them  to  guess  the  motives  for  this 
arrest.  Was  it  that,  under  the  sway  of  informers  and  of 
terror,  "  the  regenerated  society  "  of  Strasburg  denied  the 
good  certificates  which  the  administrative  body  had  given  ? 
Vainly  may  one  search  the  documents  of  the  Tribunal  for 
those  denials. 

Fouquier  says  that  he  took  care,  "  in  the  course  of  the 
pleadings,  to  remark  that  the  suspects  had  given  great  proofs 
of  patriotism  since  the  Revolution."  But  this  observation 
in  favour  of  the  accused  persons  was  made  orally,  and  nothing 
concerning  it  exists  among  the  documents  in  the  registry. 
What  did  exist  and  what  still  exists  there  are,  on  the  contrary, 
these  hnes  of  the  indictment,  made  out  and  signed  by 
Fouquier,  and  copied  by  one  of  his  secretaries  : 

"  The  two  Edelmanns  are  charged  with  having  been 
the  associates  and  principal  heads  of  the  faction  of  Schneider 
whom  national  justice  has  struck  with  its  sword.  .  .  . 
They  have  become  instruments  of  the  counter-revolutionaries 
and  partisans  of  the  suspected  persons  in  custody."  Each 
of  the  jurors  could  have  read  those  lines  in  the  copy  of  the 
indictment  that  was  provided  for  him.  They  clearly 
marked  out  the  brothers  Edelmann  for  the  guillotine. 

In  his  "  supplement  "  of  the  17th  of  Thermidor,  Fouquier 
also  lays  stress,  for  his  defence,  on  the  fact  that  the  plead- 
ings of  the  Tribunal,  in  regard  to  the  Strasburg  patriots, 
"  in  spite  of  the  rigour  of  the  law  of  Prairial,  lasted  nearly 
three  hours."  Now  on  that  day,  34  accused  persons,  34 
arraigned  persons  as  Fouquier  called  them,  34  prisoners 
*  W.  421,  dossier  956,  3rd  part. 


142  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

grouped  by  him  in  a  single  "  batch,"  in  one  and  the  same 
indictment,  had  appeared  at  the  hearing.  The  five  men  of 
Strasburg  sat  on  the  prisoners'  benches  beside  a  freeholder 
of  the  Charente-Inferieure,  a  courier  of  the  Committee  of 
Public  Safety,  a  wheelwright  and  locksmith  of  Vaugirard, 
a  man  from  the  Ardeche,  a  syndic  from  the  Abbey  of  Andlau 
(Bas-Rhin),  a  secretary  of  the  popular  tribunal  of  Marseilles, 
a  farmer  of  the  Department  of  the  Rhone,  a  hair-dresser  of 
Bar-le-Duc,  a  former  merchant,  the  President  of  the  Revolu- 
tionary Committee  of  Clichy,  accused  of  having  had  the 
impertinence  to  ask  "  whether  his  ass  was  not  in  the  Com- 
mune," the  wife  of  the  cook  of  the  Enghsh  ambassador  at 
Paris,  a  teacher  of  mathematics  of  the  Rue  de  la  Verrerie, 
Mulot  de  la  Menardiere,  a  citizen  of  Compiegne,  and  sixteen 
nuns  and  Carmehte  sisters.  Out  of  34  accused  persons,  30 
were  sent  to  the  scaffold  on  that  29th  of  Messidor. 

It  is  possible  that  the  pleadings  in  regard  to  the  Strasburg 
patriots — one  of  whom,  Michelot,  was  acquitted — lasted 
nearly  three  hours.  Fouquier  affirms  that  the  fact  is  known. 
It  remains,  none  the  less  :  ist,  that  the  brothers  Edelmann, 
the  shoemaker  Yung,  and  the  teacher  Monnet  were  exe- 
cuted ;  2nd,  that  those  Alsatians  were  despatched  to  the 
Barrier  of  Vincennes  with  26  other  male  and  female  com- 
panions in  misfortune  who  had  come  to  Paris  from  the  four 
corners  of  France  ;  3rd,  that  they  were  treated  as  con- 
spirators although  they  were  not  even  acquainted  with 
one  another.  It  was  doubtless  to  avert  the  charge  of  so 
monstrous  an  abuse  of  power  that  Fouquier  took  care 
to  end  his  Supplement  with  these  lines  : 

"  There  is  an  important  reflection,  Citizen-Representatives, 
that  I  invite  you  to  make  in  your  wisdom.  That  is  that  during 
the  sixteen  months  that  I  have  occupied  this  rigorous 
office  of  Public  Prosecutor  I  have  provoked  the  trials  of  more 
than  two  thousand  four  hundred  counter-revolutionaries, 
each  more  furious  than  the  other.  Neither  fortune  nor 
consideration  could  stop  me.  The  execution  of  the  laws, 
justice  and  humanity,  such  has  always  been  my  rule  of 
conduct.     This  firm  and  invariable  course  has  made  me 


"  I    RELY    ON    YOUR    JUSTICE  "  143 

an  incalculable  number  of  enemies  among  aristocrats  and 
others.  That  is  the  source  of  the  imputations  that  are  made 
against  me.  Ought  I  to  expect  such  a  fate,  I,  who  for  the 
last  sixteen  months  have  often  not  slept  three  hours  a  night  ? 
Never  was  a  request  for  pardon  made  by  me  to  the  Com- 
mittees except  on  behalf  of  patriots  and  unfortunate  persons. 
How,  after  such  conduct,  can  I  be  taxed  with  having  insti- 
tuted proceedings  against  patriots  ?  I  rely  always  on  your 
justice.     A.  Q.  Fouquier.     This  17th  of  Thermidor."  ^ 

On  the  same  day  he  wrote  to  Louis  (of  the  Bas-Rhin),  a 
member  of  the  Committee  of  General  Security  and  a  Deputy 
of  the  Convention.  He  requested  him  "  to  give  orders  " 
that  the  gendarme  stationed  in  his  room  should  be  with- 
drawn. He  asked  for  a  httle  air,  hoping  that  the  Committee 
would  authorise  the  gaoler  of  the  Conciergerie  to  place  him 
in  a  room  adjoining  his  own  apartments. ^  He  would  be 
better  off  there.  He  could  devote  himself  effectively  to  his 
work. 

Two  days  later,  on  the  19th  of  Thermidor,  he  had  drawn 
up  a  fresh  document  of  considerable  length  which  he  entitled. 
General  Memorial  for  My  Defence.  He  addressed  it  to  the 
Convention. 

On  many  points  this  Memorial  is  a  repetition  of  its 
predecessor.  But  in  it  Fouquier  gives  his  defence  a 
development  all  the  more  interesting  as  it  is  only  from 
these  documents  that  we  know  to-day  how  the  ex-Pubhc 
Prosecutor  faced  his  judges. 

Meanwhile,  the  reorganisation  of  the  Revolutionary  Tri- 
bunal was  conducted  rapidly,  in  a  new  spirit  and  with  new 
men.  The  sanguinary  law  of  the  22nd  of  Prairial  was 
repealed.  The  question  of  intention  was  restored.  This 
was  the  accession  of  a  new  form  of  jurisprudence. 

Fouquier  then  adopted  another  course  with  the  Conven- 
tion. Towards  the  end  of  the  session  of  the  21st  of  Thermidor 
(August  8,  1794),  presided  over  by  Merhn  (of  Douai),  when 
Lakanal  had  just  given  an  account  of  the  state  of  public 

^  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  ist  dossier,  p.  no. 
*  W.   500,    ist  dossier,  p.   108. 


144  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

feeling  in  Dordogne  and  the  neighbouring  departments,  a 
secretary  read  the  following  letter  : 

"  Citizen  President,  I  have  matters  of  importance  to  the 
public  interest  as  well  as  necessary  for  my  own  justification 
to  communicate  to  the  Convention.  I  solicit,  in  consequence, 
from  the  Convention  the  favour  of  being  admitted  to  the 
bar  in  order  to  expound  them  before  it.  Signed  :  A.  Q. 
FouQUiER,  ex-Public  Prosecutor  to  the  Revolutionary 
Tribunal,  and  under  arrest." 

Lecointre  (of  Versailles)  immediately  addressed  the 
House. 

"  I  convert  into  the  form  of  a  motion  Fouquier-Tinville's 
petition,  not  in  order  that  he  may  escape  the  sword  of  the 
law,  but  in  order  that  the  Convention  may  learn  from  his 
own  mouth  what  were  the  levers  that  moved  him." 

There  was  applause.  The  Convention  resolved  that 
Fouquier-Tinville  be  brought  to  the  bar  and  there  heard, 

Pocholle  ^ :  "  Fouquier-Tinville  can  only  come  to  speak  of 
himself  or  of  others.  He  ought  not  to  speak  of  himself  except 
before  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal.  (Murmurs.)  It  seems 
to  me  that  no  different  measures  ought  to  be  taken  in  regard 
to  him  than  in  regard  to  other  accused  persons." 

One  of  the  secretaries  then  read  the  decree  passed  against 
Fouquier. 

Lefiot  2 :  "It  does  not  seem  to  me  possible  to  grant  the 
request  made  by  Fouquier-Tinville.  He  is  an  immoral  man 
and  has  been  condemned  by  public  opinion.  It  is  clear  that 
he  can  only  come  here  to  throw  the  firebrand  of  discord, 
in  continuance  of  the  system  which  he  adopted  while  filling 
his  oihce.     He  can  come  here  to  kindle  hatred.     (Murmurs. 

^  Pierre  Pomponne  Amedee,  Deputy  for  the  Seine-Inferieure. 
He,  along  with  Chariier,  caused  Commune  affranchie  to  be  given  back 
its  name  of  Lyon  on  the  4th  of  Fructidor  of  the  year  II.  (August  21, 

1794)- 

2  Jean-Alban,  Deputy  for  the  Nievre,  distinguished  himself  by  his 

opposition  to  the  course  which  the  Convention  followed  after  the  9th 

of  Thermidor  of  the  year  II.,  and,  above  all,  after  the  ist  of  Prairial 

of  the  year  III.     He  was  arrested  on  the  21st  of  Thermidor  of  the 

year  III.   (August  6,   1795)  and  remained  nearly  three  months  in. 

prison. 


BEFORE    THE    CONVENTION  145 

Several  voices  :  "  There  is  no  hatred  among  the  members 
of  the  Convention.")  I  say  that  parties  have  existed.  I 
say  that  it  is  to  be  feared  that  this  person  may  come  to 
revive  them.  (Further  murmurs.)  I  mean  that  if  he  were 
referred  back  to  the  Committees  it  is  possible  that  he  would 
accuse  the  Committees  and  that  the  truth  would  not  be 
known.  Well,  then,  appoint  a  Commission  from  among 
yourselves.  (Murmurs.)  I  had  to  say  what  was  in  my 
mind." 

The  President :  "  The  observation  not  finding  any  support, 
I  put  it  to  the  vote  that  the  resolution  be  carried." 

The  resolution  was  carried.  Shortly  afterwards,  the  Presi- 
dent announced  that  Fouquier-Tinville  had  arrived.  The 
Convention  ordered  him  to  be  admitted.  He  entered  and 
the  President  gave  him  permission  to  speak. 

Fouquier-Tinville :  "  Having  been  informed  that  the 
warrant  of  arrest  that  has  been  issued  against  me  was 
based  chiefly  upon  presumed  conferences  with  Robespierre, 
because  I  went  every  evening  to  the  Committee  of  Public 
Safety,  I  considered  that  I  ought  to  ask  to  be  heard  by 
the  Convention  so  as  to  give  it  an  account  of  the  facts  and 
motives  of  those  proceedings. 

"  Until  the  advent  of  the  Revolutionary  Government,  the 
Tribunal  and  the  PubHc  Prosecutor  had  no  intercourse  with 
the  Committee  of  Pubhc  Safety,  unless  when  they  were 
summoned  to  it.  Their  intercourse  was  closer  with  the 
Committee  of  General  Security,  to  which  is  entrusted  the 
supervision  of  arrests  and  the  revolutionary  police  of  the 
Republic.  However,  they  did  not  go  even  to  this  Com- 
mittee, unless  they  were  summoned.  Fifteen  days  after  the 
estabhshment  of  the  Revolutionary  Government,  I  was  sum- 
moned to  the  Committee  of  Public  Safety.  When  I  reached 
the  room  outside  that  in  which  the  Committee  dehberates, 
Robespierre  came  to  me  and  made  a  violent  scene  because 
I  did  not  keep  the  Committee  acquainted  with  what  was 
taking  place  at  the  Tribunal.  I  told  him  that  it  was  not 
usual  for  me  to  do  this,  that  I  had  as  yet  received  no  orders 
to  do  it,  but  that  I  would  do  so  if  that  was  the  wish  of  the 


146  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

Committee.  He  answered  me,  in  that  despotic  tone  that  is 
known,  that  the  Committee  so  desired.  After  that  I  went  every 
evening  to  the  Committee  and  on  several  days  I  saw  him  alone 
in  the  same  room  where  I  met  him  the  first  time,  and  where 
he  heaped  very  bitter  reproaches  on  me  because  I  did  not 
cause  such-and-such  generals  and  individuals  to  be  brought 
to  trial. 

"  Finally,  one  day  I  was  brought  into  the  Committee,  and 
I  gave  it  an  account  of  all  the  doings  of  the  Tribunal.  At 
the  period  of  Hebert's  trial,  closer  relations  were  estabUshed. 
I  acquainted  the  assembled  Committee  with  the  whole 
of  the  information  which  gradually  came  to  the  Tribunal 
connected  with  that  faction. 

"  Before  the  law  of  the  22nd  of  Prairial  was  passed,  I  was 
informed  there  was  a  project  for  reducing  the  number  of 
jurors  to  seven  or  nine ;  I  regarded  that  project  as 
dangerous.  I  was  at  the  Committee,  and,  in  the  presence 
of  several  members,  I  said  that  it  was  impolitic  to  reduce 
the  number  of  jurors  in  a  Tribunal  that  had  hitherto  enjoyed 
public  confidence  ;  it  would  create  a  belief  that  the  number 
was  diminished  because  a  sufficient  number  of  subservient 
creatures  could  not  be  found.  Robespierre  said  to  me  that 
it  was  only  aristocrats  who  could  reason  thus.  I  have  since 
been  told  that  those  remarks  caused  my  name  to  be  erased 
from  the  table  of  members  of  the  Tribunal,  and  it  would 
have  been  well  if  it  had  been  so.  I  was  further  told  that 
Robespierre  had  a  project  for  causing  my  arrest.  It  appears 
that  he  could  not  attain  either  of  his  ends,  for  I  was  retained. 

"  When  I  read  the  law  of  the  22nd  of  Prairial,  I  found  it 
frightful.  I  did  not  speak  of  it  at  the  Committee,  because 
Robespierre  was  always  there  to  close  my  mouth.  I  only 
testified  my  regret  to  some  members  of  the  Committee  of 
General  Security,  and  Citizens  Amar,  Voulland  and  Vadier 
told  me  that  they  were  engaged  in  getting  some  of  its  articles 
reformed.  Robespierre's  despotism  rendered  it  impossible 
to  execute  this  project,  for  he  extorted  all  the  decrees  he 
wished. 

"At  Danton's  trial  I  wrote  to  the  Committee  to  know 


AN    INTERROGATION  147 

whether  I  ought  to  grant  the  demand  of  the  accused  that 
the  witnesses  whom  they  summoned  should  be  heard. 
For  answer  I  received  a  decree  which  closed  my  mouth, 
and  I  obeyed  the  law. 

"  After  examining  an  affair  in  which  Citizen  Gayvemon, 
a  brother  of  the  Deputy,  and  an  adjutant  called  Barthelemy 
were  implicated,  I  saw  that  there  was  nothing  against 
them,  and  proposed  to  ask  that  they  should  be  set  free. 
Robespierre  said  to  me  :  '  /  have  learned  that  you  have  a 
-project  for  liberating  those  two  individuals.  I  order  you  in 
the  name  of  the  Committee  to  bring  forward  the  documents.'  I 
answered  him  that  it  was  for  the  Tribunal  to  inquire  into 
the  matter,  and  to  pronounce  their  liberation,  if  there  was 
ground  for  it.  Citizen  Gajrvernon  came  and  asked  me  why 
I  did  not  cause  his  brother,  who  was  not  guilty,  to  be  set 
free.  I  answered  that  my  hands  were  tied,  that  he  could 
inform  the  Convention  of  the  fact,  and  that  I  would  support 
him.  This  was  also  at  the  Committee,  for  I  never  saw  him 
in  private,  either  at  his  house  or  elsewhere. 

"  He  wished  to  know  the  names  of  the  Deputies  who  had 
given  evidence  for  Kellerman's  defence.  I  said  that  I  did 
not  remember  them.  He  insisted  and  asked  me  :  '  Was  it 
not  Dubois  Crance  and  Gauthier  ?  '  I  excused  myself, 
alleging  my  defective  memory.  He  asked  me  the  same 
thing  about  General  Hoche.  It  was  always  in  the  name  of 
the  Committee  that  he  spoke  to  me.  If  I  had  foUowed 
the  orders  that  he  gave  me,  the  trial  of  those  citizens  would 
have  ended  long  ago. 

"  It  has  been  said  that  I  furnished  Robespierre  with  lists 
of  the  persons  who  were  to  be  tried.  I  should  have  been 
very  guilty  if  I  had  done  so,  and  I  declare  that  I  have  had 
nothing  to  do  with  it.  But  Robespierre  had  spies  and 
agents  in  the  Tribunal,  and  President  Dumas  was  his 
accomphce. 

"  He  made  the  Committee  of  Pubhc  Safety  pass  a  resolu- 
tion, which  is  still  in  my  drawer,  and  of  which  I  was  given 
notice  lest  I  should  forget  it.  This  resolution  ordered 
that  I  should  be  bound  to  furnish  to  the  Committee  each 


148  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

decade^  a  statement  of  the  persons  who  were  to  be  placed 
on  trial  during  the  following  decade.  Every  evening,  in 
order  to  conform  to  another  resolution  of  which  I  was  also 
given  notice,  I  furnished  the  list  of  persons  who  had  been 
condemned  or  acquitted  during  the  day,  and  it  was  then 
that  Robespierre  indulged  in  angry  observations  to  the 
bearer  of  that  list. 

"  Never  have  I  had  any  secret  conference  with  Robespierre. 
Never  have  I  received  any  order  from  him  when  alone. 
Citizen  ]\Ierlin  (of  Thionville)  can  also  tell  you  that,  at  a 
meal  where  Citizen  Lecointre  was  also  present,  I  spoke  of 
Robespierre  in  a  manner  far  from  flattering.  That  caused 
me  to  be  denounced  to  Robespierre's  secret  cabal  as  conspir- 
ing with  the  Deputies  against  him.  I  have  never  had  any 
communication  with  him.  I  groaned  under  his  despotism. 
I  acted  only  in  accordance  with  the  laws  and  the  decrees. 
I  would  not  have  taken  a  step  beyond  them." 

Merlin  (of  Thionville)  :  "I  demand  that  Fouquier 
explain  his  conduct  in  regard  to  the  conspiracy  of  the 
foreigner  and  that  of  the  Luxembourg." 

Breard^ :  "I  demand  that  he  explain  his  conduct  in 
regard  to  Catherine  Theot." 

Several  voices  :   "No  discussion." 

TaUien  :  "  The  Convention  ought  not  to  subject  Fouquier 
to  a  cross-examination.  He  has  asked  to  be  heard  on  very 
important  matters,  and,  up  to  the  present,  I  have  heard 
nothing  worth  Ustening  to.  Robespierre's  conspiracy  con- 
tained an  infinite  number  of  threads  which  are  still  hidden, 
and  which  will  soon  be  disclosed.  But  it  is  not  for  the 
Convention  to  question  Fouquier  on  particular  facts.  If 
he  has  declarations  to  make  for  the  safety  of  the  country, 
let  him  make  them  spontaneously.  A  man  such  as  he,  who 
has  been  initiated  into  the  mysteries  of  iniquity,  ought  to 
have  valuable  information.  I  also  could  bring  facts  against 
him.     But  it  is  useless  to  accuse  him,  since,  for  a  long  time, 

1  Cf.  note  p.  66. 

•  Jean-Jacques,  Deputy  for  the  Charente-Inferieure,  had  spoken 
against  Robespierre,  and,  on  the  3rd  of  Thermidor,  had  opposed  the 
printing  of  his  speech. 


z 


< 


DUMAS'    MONSTROUS    DEMAND  149 

France  has  been  accusing  him.  I  demand  that  he  be  not 
cross-examined  at  the  bar." 

Merhn      "  I  demand  that  he  be  heard." 

Fouquier-Tinville  :  "I  am  going  to  relate  the  facts  as 
they  occurred.  It  was  Lanne,  Robespierre's  agent,  who  was 
sent  to  the  Luxembourg  to  discover  if  there  were  a  conspiracy 
there.  It  was  upon  his  report  that  I  received  from  the 
Committee  the  hst  of  persons  inphcated  in  that  conspiracy. 

"  Dumas  wanted  160  prisoners  to  be  put  on  trial  at  once. 
He  said  that  the  Committee  had  ordered  it.  I  did  not 
beheve  him,  and  wTote  to  the  Committee.  I  learned  that 
my  letter  had  been  opened  by  Robespierre,  who  did  not 
want  to  make  any  reply.  I  was  at  the  Committee  that 
evening.  I  found  it  assembled,  and  remember  that  I  saw 
there  Citizens  Collot,  Billaud,  Saint-Just,  Robespierre,  and 
another  of  whose  name  I  am  not  certain,  but  whom  I  beheve 
to  be  Citizen  Camot.  And  it  was  decided  that  the  160 
persons  would  be  put  on  trial  in  three  lots. 

"  As  for  Catherine  Theot,  I  received  an  order  to  bring 
the  documents  to  the  Committee  in  accordance  with  the 
resolution  ordering  her  trial.  I  went  there.  In  the  first 
room  I  foimd  Dumas,  to  whom  Robespierre  had  doubtless 
given  instructions.  The  Committee  vv-ere  assembled.  I 
placed  the  documents  on  the  desk.  Robespierre  took 
possession  of  them.  And  when  he  began  to  read  them, 
every  one  went  out,  so  that  I  was  left  alone  with  him  and 
Dumas.  He  ordered  me  to  leave  the  bundle.  I  obeyed  and 
reported  the  matter  to  the  Committee  of  General  Security, 
which  was  especially  entrusted  with  the  supervision  of 
the  Tribunal." 

After  this  declaration,  Fouquier  was,  by  order  of  the  Presi- 
dent, taken  back  to  the  Conciergerie.  Merhn  (of  Douai) 
submitted  for  discussion  a  project  for  a  decree  on  the 
organisation  of  the  new  Revolutionary  Tribunal.  At  three 
o'clock  the  session  was  adjourned.^ 

On  the  I2th  of  Fructidor  (August  29).  the  ex-Pubhc 
Prosecutor's  case  was  before  the  Convention.  Lecointre 
»  Mottiteur,  session  of  the  21st  of  Thermidor. 


150  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

(of  Versailles)  had,  on  that  day,  undertaken  to  attack  seven 
of  his  colleagues  and  to  prove  that  Billaud-Varenne,  Collot 
d'Herbois,  and  Barere,  members  of  the  Committee  of  PubUc 
Safety,  and  Vadier,  Amar,  Voulland,  and  David,  members 
of  the  Committee  of  General  Security,  were  guilty  of  and 
responsible  for  the  crimes  of  the  Terror,  and  for  the  excesses 
committed  by  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal.  Before  the 
Assembly,  at  first  astonished  and  then  hostile,  he  had  read 
twenty-six  charges  which  he  had  formulated.  These 
complaints  seemed  to  be  based  on  certain  articles  in 
Fouquier's  memorials  for  his  defence. 

A  Deputy,  Goujon,  exclaimed :  "  What  credit  does 
Fouquier-Tinville  deserve,  that  man  whose  interest  it  is 
to  plunge  a  sword  into  the  bosom  of  the  Convention  in  order 
to  save  himself  ?  " 

Billaud,  "  the  rectilinear  patriot,"  raging  at  Lecointre's 
accusation,  asked  :  "  Who  does  not  see  that  this  is  an 
infernal  intrigue  contrived  by  Fouquier-Tinville  to  divert 
upon  us  all  the  odium  of  his  conduct  ?  " 

This  session  of  the  12th  and  that  of  the  13th  ended  in 
the  confusion  of  Lecointre,  who  could  not  prove  his  charges, 
and  whose  speech  was  continually  interrupted  by  the  cry  : 
"  Proofs  !  Proofs  1  "  whilst  he  could  not  furnish  any  serious 
evidence.  When  he  ceased  reading,  there  was,  in  the 
Assembly,  an  outburst  of  murmurs,  invectives,  and  hootings. 

There  were  shouts  of ,  "  Send  him  to  the  Petites  Maisons  !  " 

It  must  be  admitted  that  he  had  no  evidence.  Fouquier- 
Tinville's  Memorials  alone  had  furnished  him  with  argu- 
ments.^ Elie  Lacoste  demanded  that  a  warrant  be  issued 
for  Lecointre's  arrest,  and  Cambon  concluded  thus : 

"  To-day  when  everything  is  made  clear,  when  no  evi- 
dence worthy  of  credit  has  been  presented  to  you,  and  when 
you  are  convinced  of  the  falseness  of  the  accusation  brought 
against  several  members  of  theNationalConvention,  you  ought, 
by  a  solemn  resolution,  to  declare  that  it  is  a  calumny." 

^  Lecointre,  to  whom  Fouquier  had  not  sent  his  Memorials,  could 
have  become  acquainted  with  them  through  their  having  been  com- 
municated to  him  by  Meriin  (of  Douai),  Moyse  Bayle,  or  Louis  (of 
the  Bas-Rhin). 


IN    PRISON  151 

This  crushing  proposition  was  voted  unanimously  in  the 
midst  of  the  most  eager  applause.    A  bad  omen  for  Fouquier  ! 

In  the  course  of  these  debates,  Billaud-Varenne  and 
Legendre  had  made  two  mistakes,  the  one  in  affirming 
that,  to  reward  Fouquier  for  the  documents  he  had  furnished, 
he  had  been  transferred  to  Sainte-Pelagie,  without  an  order 
from  the  Committees  ;  the  other  in  stating  that  the  precaution 
had  been  taken  of  placing  him  in  solitary  confinement  there. 

Now,  Fouquier  had  been  transferred  by  an  order  of  the 
Committee  of  General  Security,  as  we  have  seen.  He  was 
not  in  sohtary  confinement,  since,  on  the  14th  of  Fructidor, 
he  wrote  the  following  letter  to  Moyse  Bayle  and  to  Louis 
(of  the  Bas-Rhin)  ' '  from  the  depths  of  the  prison  into  which 
he  ought  never  to  have  been  thrown  "  : 

"  Not  reading  any  newspapers,  for  they  are  not  brought 
into  the  houses  of  detention  for  some  not  very  obvious 
reason,  I  have  just  been  informed  that  Citizen  Lecointre, 
at  the  session  of  the  12th,  has  formulated  twenty-seven 
{sic)  charges  against  several  Deputies,  in  particular  Citizens 
Amar,  Vadier,  and  Voulland  :  ist,  that  Amar  and  Voulland 
had  said  to  the  Public  Prosecutor  when  handing  over 
to  him  the  decree  concerning  the  affair  of  Danton  and  the 
others  :  '  You  ought  to  be  easy  now.  This  is  something 
to  bring  them  to  reason,'  and  Amar,  Voulland,  and  Vadier, 
when  there  was  a  rumour  in  the  Tribunal  that  the  majority 
of  the  jurors  were  voting  for  the  innocence  of  the  prisoners, 
had  passed  through  the  refreshment-room  and  had  induced 
President  Herman  to  employ  all  possible  means  to  get  a 
sentence  of  death  passed  and  that  this  was  done  by  Herman, 
who  spoke  against  the  accused,  and  who  urged  the  jurors 
who  had  voted  for  death  to  threaten  the  others  with  the 
vengeance  of  the  Committees,  and  that  these  two  charges 
were  signed  by  me. 

"  I  am  ignorant  whether  those  facts  have  been  set  forth 
at  the  Convention  by  Citizen  Lecointre.  But  what  is 
certain  is  that  it  is  impossible  to  have  based  those  two 
charges  on  my  memorial  or  on  any  writing  that  has  emanated 
from  me.     For,  were  I  to  perish  a  thousand  times,  independ- 


152  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

ently  of  the  improbability  of  those  two  charges,  they  are 
absolutely  strange  to  me,  and  have  not  been  communicated 
by  me  either  verbally  or  in  writing  to  Citizen  Lecointre.  I  do  not 
even  remember  that  Citizens  Amar  and  Voulland  handed 
me  the  decree  in  question.  As  for  Citizen  Vadier,  I  only 
knew  long  afterwards  that  he  came  to  the  Tribunal.  He 
did  not  come  into  my  office,  nor  did  I  see  him  at  the  hearing 
of  the  case. 

"  Yet,  by  an  error  of  journalists  or  others,  here  am  I 
brought  before  the  public  as  an  informer  against  Deputies 
whose  testimony  I  invoke  in  my  memorials  to  justify  myself. 
Is  there  a  sadder  or  more  unfortunate  position  than  mine, 
after  having  spent  days  and  nights  in  the  public  interest  ? 

' '  I  cannot  explain  my  conduct  in  regard  to  accusations  that 
have  reached  me  only  in  a  very  imperfect  form.  Perhaps  if 
the  Committee  would  inform  me  of  the  charges,  I  might  have 
another  answer  to  make  to  them.  But  it  would  be  necessary 
for  me  to  be  heard.  I  shall  never  depart  from  the  truth, 
even  were  I  to  suffer  what  I  do  not  deserve.  I  therefore 
expect  everything  from  its  justice." 

The  publicity  given  a  little  later  to  the  crimes  of  Joseph 
Lebon  at  Arras,  and  of  Carrier  at  Nantes,  must  have  warned 
Fouquier  that  his  hour  was  near,  and  that  his  turn  to  be  tried 
was  coming.  On  the  28th  of  Fructidor,  he  wrote  to  Claude- 
Emmanuel  Dobsen,  a  former  judge  of  the  Tribunal  of  the 
Terror,^  and  now  the  President  of  the  new  Revolutionary 
Tribunal : 

"  To  Citizen  Dobsen,  President  of  the  Revolutionary 
Tribunal.     At  the  Palace  of  Justice. 

"  Pelagic,  this  28th  of  Fructidor  of  the  second  year  of  the 
Republic,  one  and  indivisible. 

"  Citizen  President, 

"  Informed  that  I  am  to  be  brought  to  trial  on  one 

of  the  sans  culottides,^  I  have  not  too  much  time  to  collect 

all  the  documents  necessary  for  my  defence,  the  greater 

>  Dobsen  had  been  cashiered  on  the  22nd  of  Prairial. 

2  Complementary  days  in  the  RepubUcan  Calendar. — Tr. 


AN    INSTANCE    OF    HUMANITY  153 

part  of  which  are  in  the  hands  of  the  Deputies  who  have 
proceeded  to  the  examination  of  the  papers  at  the  Popular 
Commission.  As  all  the  documents  can  only  be  collected  by 
the  defender  whom  I  shall  choose,  I  inform  you  that  yesterday 
I  invited  Citizen  Lafleutrie  to  the  Tribunal  to  undertake 
my  defence,  which  he  has  promised  to  do. 

"  But  it  is  necessary  for  him  to  have  permission  to  consult 
with  me.  I  request  you  to  give  him  this  permission,  unless 
indeed  you  consider  that  the  cross-examination  should  take 
place  first ;  in  that  case  I  pray  you  to  let  it  take  place  at 
Pelagie,  as  was  the  case  with  the  men  of  Nantes  and  others 
who  were  here,  if  you  do  not  judge  it  suitable  to  transfer  me 
to  the  Conciergerie  there  to  await  the  day  of  my  trial.  I 
have  received  none  of  the  papers  that  it  had  been  agreed 
should  be  given  me  in  order  that  I  might  know  of  what  I  am 

^^^^^^^'  "A.   Q.   FOUQUIER."! 

On  that  28th  of  Fructidor,  the  ninety-four  inhabitants  of 
Nantes  had  just  been  acquitted  by  the  Tribunal  after  a 
hearing  lasting  seven  days.  They  had  waited  ten  months 
for  their  trial. ^ 

When  Fouquier-Tinville  heard  of  the  verdict  in  his  prison, 
he  must  have  congratulated  himself  on  it.  It  was  through 
him  that  the  piteous  victims  of  Carrier,  of  Chaux,  and  of 
Gouillin,  were  still  aHve.  When  Public  Prosecutor,  he  had 
protracted  their  trial,  not  wishing  to  plead  against  them, 
considering  that  the  evidence  sent  to  his  office    by  the 

^  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  2nd  dossier,  p.  39. 

'  They  were  charged  with  "  federahsm,  conspiracy  against  the 
RepubHc,  having  communication  with  the  rebels  in  La  Vendee,  and 
monopolising  merchandise."  They  left  Nantes  on  the  7th  of 
Frimaire  in  the  year  II.  (November  27,  1793),  to  the  number  of  132, 
escorted  by  a  detachment  of  the  nth  Paris  battalion.  Their  journey 
from  Nantes  lasted  forty  days.  Thirty-five  of  them  perished  or 
had  to  remain  on  the  road.  Three  died  in  prison  at  Paris.  During 
the  journey  they  had  suffered  terribly,  led  from  cell  to  cell,  from 
empty  church  to  empty  church,  from  stable  to  stable,  sleeping  on 
innumerable  pallets  of  rotten  straw,  eaten  by  vermin,  worn  out  with 
fatigue,  and  unable  to  take  off  their  clothes  (Archives  Nationales 
W.  449,  dossier  105). 


154  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

Revolutionary  Committee  of  Nantes  was  insufficient.  Five 
times  he  had  written  to  that  Committee  to  demand  proofs 
and  official  documents.  The  answer  to  his  last  letter  only 
reached  him  on  the  5th  of  Thermidor,  nine  days  before  his 
arrest,  four  days  before  Robespierre's  fall. 

It  is  true  that,  on  that  5th  of  Thermidor,  the  order  had 
been  given  to  transfer  the  ninety-four  inhabitants  of  Nantes 
in  a  body  to  the  Plessis  prison,  a  gaol  of  sinister  reputation 
which  the  populace  called  "  Fouquier's  store-house,"  Dur- 
ing the  blood-stained  opening  of  Thermidor,  the  Revolu- 
tionary axe  struck  with  such  fury  that  it  may  be  asked  what 
would  have  happened  to  these  men  of  Nantes  if  Robespierre, 
Dumas,  and  Coffinhal  had  not  succumbed.  When  we  re- 
flect on  the  342  sentences  of  death  that  were  passed  at 
Paris  between  the  ist  and  the  9th  of  Thermidor  ;  when  we 
know  how,  during  those  nine  days,  the  prisons  of  Carmes,  of 
Bicetre,  of  Saint-Lazare  were  emptied  by  the  guillotine's 
agency,  it  is  permissible  to  ask  whether  the  inhabitants  of 
Nantes  who  were  detained  at  the  Plessis  would  not  have 
ended  by  being  also  placed  on  trial  and  executed  as  were  so 
many  others. 

But  the  9th  of  Thermidor  came.  They  still  lived.  They 
were  saved,  and  without  any  doubt  they  owed  their  Uves 
to  Fouquier-Tinville,  who,  in  this  affair,  had  known  how 
to  show  himself  just  and  humane.  Humane,  because, 
knowing  that  since  their  arrival  in  Paris  the  men  of  Nantes 
had  been  attacked  by  a  sort  of  epidemic  disease  of  which 
several  of  them  died,  he  had  caused  them  to  be  distributed 
among  three  hospitals,  that  of  Petit-Bercy,  the  Hospice  de 
la  Folie-Regnault  in  the  Rue  des  Amandiers-Popincourt, 
and  Doctor  Belhomme's  house,  No.  70,  Rue  de  Charonne. 
Just,  because  he  had  withstood  the  monstrous  demands  of 
the  Revolutionary  Committee  of  Nantes  ;  had  refused, 
on  the  authority  of  simple  notes  and  without  any  evidence  or 
official  documents,  to  treat  these  wretches  as  "  brigands  of 
La  Vendee  "  or  as  "  the  head-quarters  staff  of  the  CathoHc 
army,"  as  a  section  of  public  opinion  at  Paris  called  them. 

Ready  to  appear  before  his  judges,  the  ex-Pubhc  Prosecutor, 


THE    MEN    OF    NANTES  155 

learning  that  the  men  of  Nantes  had  been  acquitted,  could 
congratulate  himself  thereon.  He  could  remember  this 
verdict,  and  be  able,  justly,  to  confront  his  accusers 
with  this  fact  :  "  Ninety-four  French  citizens  owe  their 
lives  to  me." 


CHAPTER    VII 

fouquier-tinville's   first  trial,    the   inquiry 
(vendemiaire  and  brumaire  of  the  year  ii.) 

THE  year  II.  was  ending.  For  Fouquier-Tinville 
bad  news  followed  on  bad  news.  In  his  own  mind, 
it  was  evident  that  his  trial  would  be  that  of  one 
of  the  patriots  who  had  occupied  "  a  place  in  the 
Revolution."  This  harsh  and  sombre  man  suffered  in  his 
affections  as  a  husband  and  a  father.  He  meditated ; 
he  reflected  and  told  himself  that  his  family  would  die  of 
starvation. 

"  Citizen  President,"  he  wrote  on  the  25th  of  Thermidor 
to  the  President  of  the  National  Convention,  "  allow  the 
unhappy  father  of  a  numerous  family  to  remind  the  Con- 
vention that  the  rigorous  exercise  of  the  functions  of  Public 
Prosecutor  of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal  of  the  Republic 
has  given  him  as  enemies  all  the  enemies  of  the  Republic  ; 
yet,  in  everything,  he  has  exactly  executed  the  decrees  of 
the  Convention  and  the  resolutions  of  the  Committees  of 
Public  Safety  and  of  General  Security.  Firm  in  his  innocence, 
he  dares  to  claim  from  the  Convention  the  justice  that  it 
alone  can  render  him. 

"  A.   Q.   FOUQUIER."  1 

He  corresponded  with  his  wife  through  the  agency 
of  their  faithful  servant.  Citizeness  Fouquier-Tinville 
sent  her  husband,  food,  linen,  and  the  books  he  required. 
His  letters,  which  are  very  interesting,  have  been  preserved, 
but  they  are  not  dated.  The  earlier  ones  were  written  from 
the  Conciergerie  when  the  ex-Public  Prosecutor  was  drawing 
up  his  long  memorials  for  his  defence.  The  others  date  from 
*  Archives  Nationales,  P  4436,  liasse  T.,  p.  9. 

156 


r 

FOUQUIER'S    LETTERS    TO    HIS    WIFE      157 

after  his  incarceration  in  Saint-Pelagie.  Some  of  these  letters 
have  been  copied  at  the  Historical  Library  of  the  City  of 
Paris,^ 

First  Letter 

"  I  ask  you  again,  ma  bonne  amie,  to  hurry  on  the 
printing  of  my  memorials,  to  correct  them  as  you  have 
seen  me  do,  and,  above  all,  to  distribute  none  to  anybody 
unless  I  tell  you  ;  you  ought  to  guess  the  reason.  I  am 
engaged  in  making  out  a  list  of  those  among  whom  I  think 
they  ought  to  be  circulated  ;  I  rely  enough  on  your  regard 
to  have  no  doubt  that  you  are  fulfiUing  my  intentions  on 
this  point. 

"  You  remark  to  me  that  Citizen  Asselin  told  you  that 
he  thought  my  eldest  brother  would  come  for  my  trial ;  I 
wish  he  would,  but  what  can  he  do,  except  spare  you  some 
journeys  ?  for  you  must  be  very  tired.  My  innocence  gives 
me  some  tranquilhty,  but  the  prospect  does  not  console  roe, 
especially  as  I  am  always  abandoned  to  myself.  I  give  myself 
up  to  a  crowd  of  reflections,  each  more  sinister  than  the 
other.  Who  would  have  thought  that  by  doing  my  duty 
as  I  have  done,  I  should  be  reduced  to  this  sad  position 
on  account  of  monsters  with  whom  I  have  never  rubbed 
shoulders  ?  Time  is  a  great  teacher,  I  know  ;  so  it  is  on 
that  alone  I  count. 

"  Again,  no  memorial  to  anybody,  not  even  to  Viefville 
nor  to  anybody  else  ;  but  you  can  send  some  through  Asselin 
to  my  brothers,  advising  them  to  keep  none  of  them,  and 

>  It  was  from  reading  the  second  series  of  M.  Lenotre's  Vielles 
Maisons,  Vieux  Papiers,  published  in  1907  (the  article  on  Madame 
Fouquier-Tinvalle),  that  we  learned  of  the  existence  of  Notes  et 
Documents  sur  Fouquier-Tinville,  published  by  M.  George  Lecocq. 
At  that  period  we  had  copied  out  the  manuscript  letters  reproduced 
here,  which  are  preserved  in  the  Historical  Library  of  the  City  of 
Paris.  "  When  Madame  Fouquier-Tinville  died  in  want  and  hunger 
in  Paris,"  says  M.  Lecocq,  "  when  the  family  had  refused  her  estate, 
the  State  caused  everytlaing  that  composed  the  fortune  of  that 
unhappy  woman  to  be  sold.  All  the  furniture,  including  the  manu- 
scripts referred  to,  was  knocked  down  for  some  hundreds  of  francs. 
A  celebrated  amateur,  M.  Walferdein,  bought  the  autographs  and 
some  precious  documents  for  his  collection." 


158  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

not  to  give  them  to  anybody  to  read.  We  must  wait  some 
days  before  we  distribute  them.  As  for  the  last,  let  them 
not  be  sent  to  anybody  until  a  decision  is  come  to  ;  of 
course  your  aunt  can  read  it  at  home.  Impress  on  the  printer 
that  he  must  not  give  any  away  ;  I  am  more  afraid  of  that 
than  of  anything  else. 

"  Try  and  go  to  the  Jacobin  Club  this  evening  and  send 
me  the  result  to-morrow  with  other  news. 

"  No  distribution  of  copies  to  the  Tribunal  either  at 
present. 

"  I  again  embrace  you,  keep  acquainted  with  the  news  of 
the  day. 

"  Did  you  receive  the  ninety  copies  I  sent  you  this 
morning  ?  You  tell  me  nothing  about  them.  I  will  make 
out  a  list  of  the  persons  to  whom  they  should  be  given. 

"  P.S. — Yes,  I  should  like  some  eggs." 

Second  Letter 

"  Good-morning,  ma  bonne  amie,  you  were  not  expecting 
news  from  me  so  early  ;  you  have  doubtless  inserted  in 
my  memorial  the  various  additions  I  sent  you,  especially 
that  ending  with  the  words,  '  the  great  conspirators,  ex- 
nohles  and  priests' 

' '  I  should  like  you  to  add  after  the  words,  '  ex-nobles  and 
priests,'  the  following  :  '  from  actual  circumstances,  there 
can  remain  no  doubt  as  to  the  true  motives  of  the  author  of 
the  declamation  and  denunciation  directed  against  me.' 

"  And  instead  of  the  words,  '  as  without  pretension  in  the 
art  of  eloquence,'  it  would  be  well  to  substitute,  '  without 
malice  as  without  passion.'  This  passage  is  at  the  end  of 
the  last  part  of  my  memorial. 

"  Those  changes  are  necessary  ;  my  request  ought  to 
prove  to  you  that  my  trial  occupies  my  attention  more  than 
anything  else. 

"  In  the  course  of  my  memorial  and  towards  the  end  of 
it  there  is  mention  of  the  Luxembourg  conspiracy,  especially 
there  should  be  this  phrase,  '  which  was  exactly  executed 
on  the  19th,  2ist,  and  22nd  of  Messidor,' 


MADAME    FOUQUIER'S    ACTIVITIES         159 

"  I  should  like,  in  the  margin  by  that  phrase  and  in  the 
form  of  further  information,  these  words  to  be  placed, '  there 
ought  to  be  among  the  Archives  of  the  Popular  Commission 
sitting  at  the  Louvre  a  letter  I  wrote  to  it  on  the  night  between 
the  i8th  and  the  19th,  in  which  I  inform  it  that  in  accord- 
ance with  the  decision  of  the  Committee  of  Pubhc  Safety, 
the  matter  of  the  Luxembourg  conspiracy  will  be  tried  in 
three  sessions  ;  I  asked  the  Popular  Commission  to  send  me 
on  the  morning  of  the  19th  the  notes,  documents,  and  infor- 
mation it  may  have  had  relating  to  those  who  are  to  be  placed 
on  trial,  and  whose  names  I  sent  with  my  letter  for  this 
purpose  ;  I  have  acted  similarly  in  all  other  affairs.' 

"  This  note  can  be  written  at  the  foot  of  the  page  if  it  is 
obvious  that  there  would  not  be  room  enough  in  the  margin. 

"  When  one  composes  a  memorial  in  sections,  it  is  only 
on  reflection  and  with  time  that  one  recollects  various 
important  facts. 

"  P.S. — If  you  pay  the  messenger  give  him  25  centimes  and 
put  it  down  to  my  account." 

Third  Letter. 

"  I  am  pleased  with  your  letter,  ma  bonne  amie.  In  the 
hope  of  being  transferred  this  evening  or  to-morrow  morning, 
I  am  sending  you  back  a  shirt  and  the  two  volumes  of 
Prudhomme's  Revolutions.  Find  out  where  is  the  resolu- 
tion that  authorises  me  to  amalgamate  (the  prisoners)  ; 
I  do  not  remember  ;  moreover,  my  affair  is  unfortunately 
embarrassing  on  this  point  as  on  everything  else.  Send 
to-morrow  at  eight  o'clock  in  the  morning.  If  I  am  trans- 
ferred, I  shall  take  what  I  can  with  me.  Be  always  on  the 
alert,  above  all  prepare  Freron's  numbers  for  my  defence. 

"  Good  evening,  good  night,  and  good  health." 

Fourth  Letter. 

"  You  are  right,  ma  bonne  amie.  To  affix  my  signature 
to  my  memorial  is  the  only  method  to  adopt  to  avoid  for- 
geries :  that  is  very  practical,  for  what  is  more  necessary 
for  me  to  do  than  to  avoid  the  snares  that  are  laid  for  me  ? 


i6o  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

Thanks  for  the  news  you  give  me  ;  send  a  dozen  copies  of 
my  memorial,  and  more  if  you  can,  to-morrow  so  that  I  may 
sign  them,  and  you  will  distribute  them  only  among  the 
persons  I  tell  you.  I  see  and  know  nothing  :  the  officials 
yesterday  gave  us  reason  to  hope  that  we  would  soon  have 
newspapers,  I  hope  so.  Continue  to  send  me  what  you 
think  best.  You  know  that  I  am  not  particular  about  food, 
I  eat  because  it  is  necessary.  Send  me  some  salt,  and 
pepper,  and  uncork  the  bottle,  for  I  have  neither  knife, 
scissors,  nor  a  corkscrew. 

"  I  am  sending  you  some  silk  stockings,  two  dusters,  a 
shirt,  a  handkerchief,  and  a  bottle. 

"  I  kiss  you,  our  children,  and  your  aunt. 

"  Till  to-morrow. 

"  I  am  keeping  the  oil  for  the  fricassee." 

Fifth  Letter. 

"  I  wish,  ma  bonne  mnie,  that  you  could  send  me  some 
copies  of  my  memorial  with  my  dinner,  for  I  have  not  one 
left.  I  have  left  you  power  to  dispose  of  my  memorial 
as  you  think,  so  act  for  the  best.  Do  you  know  if  the 
memorials  you  sent  to  the  Convention  have  been  distributed, 
do  you  know  if  they  are  being  sold,  of  course,  for  the  printer's 
profit  ?  I  asked  you  for  a  copy  of  Marat's  letters  ;  send 
with  the  originals  those  of  Montanet.  Brochet  lives  in  the 
Rue  Andree  des  Arts  near  the  Rue  de  I'Eperon.  I  mention 
this  as  it  is  essential  to  keep  my  memorials,  it  is  important 
not  to  let  the  stock  become  exhausted.  I  have  neither 
spoon  nor  fork,  as  we  are  only  provided  with  wooden  spoons 
and  a  fork  like  the  broken  spoon  that  I  send  you.  Send  me 
to-morrow  two  spoons  and  a  fork,  for  this  spoon  does  not 
belong  to  me,  and  I  must  return  it  to  the  lender. 

"  I  am  terribly  wearied  by  my  position,  which  I  could 
endure  with  more  patience  if  I  had  deserved  it.  Be  always 
attentive  to  what  is  said  about  me,  for  things  must  come  to 
an  end.  Good  evening,  good  health,  I  kiss  you,  your  aunt, 
and  the  children. 

"  I  have  had  no  brandy  since  yesterday." 


MESSAGES    AND    REQUESTS  i6i 

Sixth  Letter. 

"  I  received  your  letter,  ma  bonne  amie,  and  it  gives  me 
all  the  more  pleasure  as  it  assures  me  that  you  are  well  ; 
I  have  also  received  my  memorial ;  I  am  going  to  arrange 
everything  so  that  you  can  have  all  this  afternoon. 

"  Greeting,  etc." 

"  I  kiss  you,  your  aunt,  and  the  children.  I  should  like 
a  bottle  of  brandy,  for  nothing  keeps  me  up  but  taking  a 
little." 

Seventh  Letter. 

"  I  send  you,  ma  bonne  amie,  the  hst  of  witnesses  who 
I  think  ought  to  be  called  for  my  defence  with  the  facts 
that  are  personal  to  each  of  them  ;  it  is  important  that  you 
should  send  it  to  Lafleurie,  after  having  read  it  and  caused 
it  to  be  read  by  those  persons  who  are  acquainted  with  what 
has  taken  place,  and  in  whom  you  have  confidence. 

"  It  would  be  to  the  purpose  to  cause  some  memorials 
to  be  given  to  Martin,  a  former  juryman,  Rue  de  Savoye, 
Section  Marat. 

"  I  see  that  you  are  having  a  great  deal  of  trouble,  I  wish 
I  could  rid  you  of  it ;  but  we  must  submit  to  fate  ;  we 
must  hope  that  a  happier  time  will  come.  It  is  six  o'clock. 
I  have  not  yet  been  cross-examined  ;  it  is  not  certain  that 
I  shall  be  to-day,  and  I  cannot  be  to-morrow  on  account 
of  the  festival.  Good  evening,  good  health,  more  details 
to-morrow." 

Eighth  Letter. 

"  It  is  eight  o'clock,  ma  bonne  amie,  and  I  have  not  yet 
had  any  news  from  the  Tribunal  or  elsewhere  ;  so  that  I 
cannot  tell  you  if  at  dinner-time  I  shall  be  at  Pelagic  or 
elsewhere.^  If  I  go  to  the  Tribunal  and  remain  there,  I 
will  have  you  told  ;  if  I  am  transferred  elsewhere  the  maid 
at  Pelagic  will  know  the  place  :    that  is  the  perplexity  in 

>  On  the  4th  of  Fructidor  in  the  year  II.  Fouquier  had  been  trans- 
ferred from  the  Conciergerie  to  Saint-Pelagie.  On  the  9th  of  Bru- 
maire  in  the  year  III.  he  was  transferred  from  Sainte-Pelagie  to  the 
Plessis. 


i62  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

which  I  find  myself  ;  so  I  am  always  waiting  as  usual. 
As  to  the  matter  of  the  amalgamation,  I  have  my  answer 
ready  :  it  is  a  poor  resource  for  my  enemies.  If  you  learn 
anything  send  me  word  immediately.  Be  always  on  the 
alert  either  in  your  own  person  or  through  those  who  still 
take  any  interest  in  me.  For  instance,  you  could  send 
to  the  Tribunal  about  ten  o'clock  to  know  whether  I  have 
reached  there,  or  whether  they  are  arranging  to  have  me 
brought  there.  Kind  messages  to  Citizen  de  Vitry  and  to 
all  others.     Good  day  to  everybody." 

Ninth  Letter. 

"  I  pity  you,  ma  bonne  amie,  for  the  fatigue  you  must 
have  experienced  during  the  whole  day  that  you  remained 
at  the  Convention  without  having  taken  anything  there. 
You  must  indeed  have  suffered  greatly.  You  are  right  in 
thinking  that  matters  are  going  very  badly.  What  is 
happening  must  remind  you  that  I  anticipated  these  events 
when  I  remarked  to  you  at  the  time  of  the  affair  of  the 
Revolutionary  Committee  that  an  attempt  would  be  made 
to  stir  up  people's  minds  against  Carrier  and  afterwards 
against  me.  You  see  that  this  is  the  course  taken.  One 
can  say  that  there  never  was  a  more  grievous  position  than 
that  in  which  I  find  myself.  The  hope  of  making  my 
innocence  triumph  alone  sustains  me,  and  my  sole  grief 
is  for  you  and  my  unhappy  family.  Once  again  I  am  sure 
of  my  innocence  ;  but  in  this  state  of  things,  what  means 
are  there  of  getting  my  defence  listened  to  ?  That  is  my 
uneasiness,  lest  I  be  sacrificed  and  not  judged. 

"  I  send  you  in  my  portfolio  a  letter  containing  my  feelings 
towards  you,  and  two  others  which  you  will  deliver,  in  time, 
if  there  is  an  opportunity.  Do  not  grieve,  they  are  the 
feelings  engraven  on  my  heart  that  I  send  you,  and  that, 
perhaps,  I  may  not  have  another  opportunity  of  conveying 
to  you.  Shall  I,  perhaps,  be  happier  ?  Shall  I  display 
them  in  person  ?  I  hope  so  ;  but  at  such  a  juncture  we 
must  expect  anything.  That  is  why  I  have  arrived  at  this 
decision.     Once  more,  do  not  be  troubled. 


REMARKABLE    LETTERS  163 

"  You  must  take  the  greatest  care  that  my  creditors  do 
not  seize  everything  from  you  to  the  last  shirt,  in  addition 
to  the  property;  thus  the  first  thing  will  be  for  you  to 
disclaim  community  of  property  with  me,  and  to  take  away 
as  many  as  possible  of  the  portable  articles.  The  chicken 
will  do  me  for  to-day  and  to-morrow. 

"  I  kiss  you  with  all  my  heart.  Keep  well.  I  kiss  aunt 
and  the  children. "^ 

These  are  singularly  moving  letters.  His  part  played, 
the  mask  has  fallen.  He  is  no  longer  the  Pubhc  Prosecutor, 
he  is  a  man,  a  husband,  a  father.  The  thought  that  remains 
with  him  is  that  of  the  amazing  misfortune  of  the  beings 
for  whose  existence  he  has  done  his  work  of  blood.  Now  he 
is  hemmed  in,  put  in  a  cage,  like  a  hunted  animal ;  he 
belongs  to  the  men  of  Thermidor.  His  life  is  in  their 
hands. 

During  the  first  days  of  his  detention,  he  was  preparing 
for  the  contest.  He  did  everything  for  his  defence.  He 
wrote  letters,  drew  up  his  Memorials  at  Sainte-Pelagie, 
in  the  midst  of  the  prisoners,  ex- jurors  of  the  Revolutionary 
Tribunal  or  other  officials  of  the  Terror,  such  as  Vilain 
d'Aubigny,  Audouin,  Guyard  (the  former  janitor  of  Saint- 
Lazare),  he  spoke  out,  saying  that  he  was  having  printed 
a  memorial  against  the  Committees.  He  briefed  Lecointre 
for  his  sensational  denunciation  at  the  Convention. ^ 

Now  he  had  nothing  more  to  do  but  wait  until  his  fate 
was  decided.  And  what  an  ordeal !  "  That  is  my  uneasiness, 
lest  I  be  sacrificed  and  not  judged  1"  He  knew  that 
Carrier^  and  the  Revolutionary  Committee  of  Nantes  were 
to  be  placed  on  trial.  His  turn  was  coming  to  mount  the 
benches  of  the  Tribunal. 

»  These  letters  have  been  pubhshed  by  M.  Lecocq  (Notes  et 
Documents  snr  Foiiquier-Tinville.  Paris  :  Jouaust,  1885,  61  pages) 
with  eight  other  letters  of  which  we  do  not  know  the  originals. 

»  So,  at  least,  Riston,  an  agent  of  the  Committee  of  General  Secur- 
ity, reports. 

»  Carrier's  case  was  taken  on  7th  of  Frimaire.  The  trial  lasted 
sixty  sessions.  Carrier,  Pinard  and  Grandmaison  were  condemned 
to  death  on  the  26th.  The  thirty  others  who  were  charged  were 
acquitted. 


i64  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

During  the  preceding  month,  and  part  of  Brumaire,  Judge 
Forestier,  assisted  by  his  registrar,  Josse,  conducted  a 
prolonged  inquiry.  He  heard  a  great  deal  of  evidence,  almost 
all  in  accord,  from  people  who  were  well  acquainted  with 
Fouquier  while  he  exercised  his  terrible  magistracy.  Cer- 
tainly, there  were  some  of  those  depositions,  such  as  that 
of  Paris,  the  registrar,  and  his  subordinates,  which  should 
be  carefully  examined,  for,  as  is  known,  the  registry  of  the 
Revolutionary  Tribunal  was  Dantonist,  and  it  did  not  forgive 
the  Public  Prosecutor  either  Danton's  death  or  the  sudden 
arrest  and  condemnation  of  Legris,^  a  clerk  at  the  registry. 
And  yet  what  precision,  what  clearness  there  were  in  the 
afhrmations  of  Paris,  of  Wolff,  of  Tavernier  ! 

There  were,  moreover,  other  depositions,  such  as  that  of 
Chateau,  Fouquier' s  former  secretary,  which  seem  to  bear 
all  the  marks  of  frankness  and  impartiality, .  and  which, 
though  favourable  to  the  accused  on  many  points,  none  the 
less  established  very  grave  charges  against  him  on  other 
points. 

The  writers  who  have  studied  the  history  of  the  Revolu- 
tionary Tribunal  have,  to  this  day,  chiefly  made  use  of  two 
publications  which  we  can  condemn  as  being  often  inexact 
or  partial.  These  are :  ist,  Fouquier-Tinvilles  Printed 
Trial,  published  by  Maret,  bookseller  at  Paris,  at  the  Cour 
des  Fontaines,  in  the  Palais-Egalit6,  and  catalogued  in  the 
National  Library  under  the  classification  Lib.  41,  1798  ; 
and  2nd,  the  Histoire  Parlementaire  of  Bouchez  and  Roux, 
the  1837  edition.  Volumes  XXXIV.  and  XXXV.,  in  which 
the  pleadings  in  the  trial  are  reproduced. 

Without  systematically  setting  aside  those  two  publica- 
tions, we  think  the  time  has  come — since  apart  from  all 
political  ideas  and  preconceived  notions,  the  reader  requires 
to  form  an  exact  idea  of  the  part  that  Fouquier  played,  and 
the  responsibility  he  incurred — to  have  recourse  only  to  the 

1  The  evidence  of  Paris  is  interesting.  But,  when  reading  it,  we 
ought  to  remember  that  Nicolas  Joseph  Paris,  called  Fabricius, 
Danton's  friend,  and  appointed,  thanks  to  Danton,  chief  registrar 
of  the  Tribunal,  had  been  dismissed  and  imprisoned  six  days  after 
Danton's  execution,  on  the  24th  of  Germinal  in  the  year  II. 


DAMNING    EVIDENCE  165 

original  documents,  that  is  to  say  to  the  depositions  of  the 
witnesses  preserved  in  the  portf  ohos  of  the  National  Archives, 
and  to  analyse  those  depositions,  a  work  that  has  not  yet 
been  done.  Just  as  we  have  felt  bound  to  reproduce  in  full, 
the  original  Memorials  of  Fouquier,  written  in  his  own  hand, 
in  view  of  his  defence,  so  we  think  that  only  the  original 
depositions,  preserved  among  the  Archives,  ought  to  be 
taken  into  consideration. 

Let  us  listen  to  the  witnesses  examined  by  Judge  Forestier. 
We  shall  hear  Fouquier  afterwards. 

At  noon  on  the  5th  of  Vendemiaire  in  the  year  III.  (Sep- 
tember 26th,  1794),  a  month  and  twenty  days  after  the 
Public  Prosecutor's  arrest,  the  first  witness  appeared 
before  Pierre  Forestier,  and  Josse,  his  registrar.  Nicolas 
Tirrart,  33  years  of  age,  an  usher  of  the  Tribunal,  residing 
at  281  Rue  Saint-Honore,  stated  : 

"  Since  the  terrible  law  of  the  22nd  of  Prairial,  I  have 
heard  Fouquier  say  :  '  In  this  decade^  there  must  be  three 
hundred  to  three  hundred  and  fifty  tried.'  On  certain  days 
when  several  citizens  were  acquitted,  Fouquier  would  say 
with  warmth  :  '  What  ?  have  they  acquitted  those  people  ? 
I  must  have  the  names  of  the  jurors.'  Sometimes,  when  he 
returned  in  the  evening  at  about  ten  or  eleven  o'clock, 
rather  heated,  Fouquier  used  to  change  the  lists  of  the  cases 
that  had  been  prepared  in  the  course  of  the  day  and  of  the 
accused  who  were  to  be  tried  the  next  morning.  In  the 
same  way,  when  the  day  of  the  hearing  came,  he  sometimes 
had  everything  changed,  the  cases  and  the  accused.  Some- 
times also  he  would  call  an  usher  and  say  to  him  :  '  You 
must  not  summon  the  jurors  whom  I  do  not  tell  you.' 
He  would  then  ask  for  the  list  and  choose,  at  his  own  fancy, 
such  a  section  for  such  a  hall,  although  it  was  not  the  turn  of 
that  section  to  sit.  It  sometimes  happened  that  he  added  the 
names  of  certain  jurors  who  were  not  authorised  to  serve — 
Desboisseaux,  Lumiere,  Trinchard,  Renaudin,  Girard,  and 
Vilate.  Sometimes,  in  the  morning,  before  the  hearing,  I 
have  seen  Fouquier  go  up  to  the  assembled  jurors  in  their 

1  Cf.  note,  p.  66. 


i66  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

hall  where  they  deliberated.  I  declare  that  Fouquier  has  a 
very  hard,  violent,  and  menacing  character,  with  that  tone 
that  only  belongs  to  a  despot." 

The  next  witness,  Jean  Baptiste  Benoit  Auvray,  aged 
45,  an  usher  of  the  Tribunal,  of  No.  37,  Rue  de  Provence, had 
heard  Fouquier  say  several  times,  and  in  particular  since 
the  law  of  the  22nd  of  Prairial :  "In  this  decade  there  must 
be  250,  300,  to  350  prisoners  tried."  When  the  accused 
were  acquitted,  Fouquier  would  say  :  "  What  ?  Give  me 
the  list  of  jurors  !  What  sort  of  jurors  are  these  ?  "  He 
used  to  speak  with  incredible  warmth  :  "  Can  one  not  count 
then  on  these  people  ?  "  The  witness  had  also  noticed 
that  sometimes  when  Fouquier  came  in,  at  ten  or  eleven 
o'clock  in  the  evening,  he  was  very  heated,  and  caused  the 
list  of  cases  prepared  during  that  day  for  the  day  following 
to  be  changed,  as  well  as  the  list  of  accused  persons. 

In  regard  to  the  modification  of  the  jurors'  turns,  the 
depositions  of  the  usher  Auvray,  were  the  same  as  those 
of  the  usher  Tirrard.  There  is  also  agreement  between  both 
the  depositions  concerning  the  visits  made  by  Fouquier 
to  the  jurors  before  the  trials. 

"  I  should  add,"  the  witness  declared,  "  that  Fouquier  is 
a  very  sharp,  very  petulant  man  ;  that  he  often  threatened 
the  ushers  and  fell  into  frightful  rages,  above  all,  when  it 
was  a  matter  of  answering  him  about  searching  for  the  pris- 
oners who  were  designated  to  us  only  by  their  family  names. 
It  was  on  this  that  he  threatened  me  once,  in  a  moment  of 
fury,  telling  me  that  I  should  remember  it.  However,  it 
is  right  to  remark  that  when  his  anger  had  passed,  he  did 
not  bear  malice,  and  admitted  that  it  was  unfortunate  for 
him  to  be  like  that,  and  that  he  knew  well  he  could  not  but 
be  disagreeable  in  the  eyes  of  those  to  whom  he  spoke." 

Auguste- Joseph  Boucher,  aged  51,  a  clerk  to  the  registrar  of 
the  Revolutionary  Tribunal,  residing  at  No.  1036  Rue  Saint- 
Dominique,  knew  that  several  times,  when  accused  persons 
had  been  acquitted,  Fouquier  said  to  him  ill-humouredly : 
"  Give  me  the  names  of  those  who  compose  the  jury."  An- 
other remark  of  Fouquier's,  made  in  the  presence  of  the 


TRANSPORTS    OF    PASSION  167 

witness,  who  was  then  an  usher,  was  :  "  You  are  not  making 
headway,  gentlemen,  you  are  not  making  headway  !  Hence- 
forth two  hundred  must  pass  through  it  every  decade." 
One  day,  when  commissioned  by  Fouquier  to  go  to  a  prison 
to  find  the  ex-Duchesse  de  Biron,  he  pointed  out  to  him 
that  there  were  two  Duchesses  de  Biron.  "  Well,"  rephed 
Fouquier,  "  bring  both.  They  will  both  pass  through  it." 
They  did  pass,  in  truth,  and  both  mounted  the  scaffold 
the  next  day.  Another  day,  when  entrusted  with  a  warrant 
for  the  arrest  of  a  count  or  viscount  de  Castellane,  the 
witness  remarked  to  him  that  he  desired  to  know  which  of 
the  two  it  was  for,  the  count  or  the  viscount.  Fouquier 
answered  that  he  was  to  arrest  all  those  who  bore  the  name 
of  Castellane.^ 

Robert  Wolff,  aged  38,  clerk  to  the  registrar  of  the  Revo- 
lutionary Tribunal,  residing  in  the  Rue  de  Buci,  declared 
that  he  had  seen  in  Fouquier  a  very  violent  character,  and 
a  despotic,  unbearable  temper,  "  showing  itself  towards 
subordinate  officials  such  as  registrars,  ushers,  and  other 
clerks."  He  was  continually  threatening  to  have  them  put 
in  prison. 

"As  it  seldom  happened  that  he  did  not  take  too  much 
wine  at  dinner,  it  was  in  this  state  that  he  would  come  to 
the  ushers'  office  oftener  than  anywhere  else  to  vent  in  fury 
the  vapours  that  during  dinner  had  mounted  to  his  brain. 
None  the  less,  when  fasting,  he  gave  way  equally  to  the 
same  transports.  The  whole  Tribunal,  not  even  excepting 
the  judges,  trembled  before  him,  some  through  fear  of 
prison,  others  through  the  credit  he  had  with  the  Com- 
mittees." 

This  deposition  of  Robert  Wolff  was  a  regular  speech  for 
the  prosecution,  clear,  precise,  implacable.  It  was,  on  most 
of  the  important  points,  in  full  accord  with  the  evidence  we 
have  just  read,  as  well  as  with  that  which  we  are  going  to 
read.  Let  us  not  forget,  however,  that  this  deposition  is 
that  of  a  declared  enemy  of  Fouquier-Tinville. 

"It  is  not  true,   as  Fouquier  advances  in  his  printed 
1  W.  501,  2nd  dossier,  p.  83. 


i68  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

memorial,"  Wolff  goes  on,  "  that  he  appeared  against,  and 
demanded  the  despatch  to  the  scaffold  of  Mayor  Lescot- 
Fleiiriot,  notoriously  known  as  his  most  intimate  friend  ; 
but  the  fact  is  that  he  only  appeared  against  the  first  seven 
or  eight  who  were  tried  on  the  loth  of  Thermidor.  When  it 
was  Fleuriot's  turn,  he  gave  place  to  Liendon,  one  of  his 
deputies,  who  finished  that  hearing,  which  lasted  until 
six  o'clock  in  the  evening,  and  at  which  twenty-two  con- 
spirators were  condemned  to  the  scaffold.  After  Fleuriot's 
condemnation,  he  reappeared  at  the  hearing,  wearing  a  light- 
coloured  coat,  and  remained  there  for  part  of  the  time  that 
was  spent  trying  the  others.  I  performed  the  duties  of 
registrar  at  that  hearing.  In  consequence,  I  was  a  witness 
of  the  fact.  Fouquier  was  so  far  from  sending  his  friend 
Fleuriot  to  the  scaffold  that  he  violently  reprimanded 
Tavernier,  the  usher  who  was  present  at  the  execution  of  the 
twenty-two  on  the  loth  of  Thermidor,  for  having  caused  his 
dear  Fleuriot  to  be  executed  the  last ;  he  added  that  the 
usher  had  only  acted  thus  because  he  had  taken  the  opinion 
of  his  Section,  which  was  also  Fleuriot's  Section  (the  Museum 
Section) . 

"  On  the  9th  of  Thermidor,  when  Fouquier  dined  at  the 
house  of  Verghnes  in  the  He  de  la  Fraternite,  although  he 
pretends  that  he  was  ignorant  of  the  troubles,  as  he  says 
in  his  memorial  in  order  to  palliate  his  associating  with  the 
infamous  Coffinhal,  it  appears  from  the  following  fact  that 
he  is  trying  to  deceive.  About  one  o'clock  on  the  after- 
noon of  that  very  day.  Citizen  Simmonet  (one  of  the  clerks 
to  the  ushers  of  the  Tribunal)  came  to  announce  that  there 
was  trouble  in  the  neighbourhood  and  in  the  Faubourg  Saint- 
Antoine,  that  the  drum  had  beaten  to  arms  there,  and  that 
Hanriot  had  at  the  point  of  the  sword  rescued  the  pretended 
patriots  from  the  hands  of  the  gendarmes.  An  hour  before, 
Dumas  had  been  arrested  while  actually  sitting  in  the  Tribu- 
nal, and  at  two  o'clock  the  whole  Tribunal  knew  of  the  troubles 
which  Robespierre's  accomplices  were  beginning  to  arouse. 
About  half-past  three,  Fouquier,  with  his  hat  on  his  head, 
went  out  to  attend  that  famous  dinner.     He  was  then  oppo- 


FOUOUIER'S    HUMANITY  169 

site  the  prisoners'  room,  a  few  steps  from  the  door  out  of  the 
Hall  of  Columns.  Sanson,  the  executioner  of  criminal 
judgments,  in  the  presence  of  Desmorest  (or  another 
relative  who  helped  him  to  carry  out  the  executions),  of  the 
usher  (who  was  to  be  present  at  them),  and  of  myself,  re- 
marked that  there  was  trouble  in  the  Saint-Antoine  quarter, 
through  which  he  must  pass,  and  in  the  suburb  where  the 
execution  was  to  take  place.  He  asked  Fouquier  whether 
he  did  not  think  it  prudent  to  postpone  the  execution. 
Fouquier  answered  with  a  httle  emotion :  '  Proceed  in  any 
case.  Nothing  ought  to  stop  the  execution  of  judgments  nor 
the  course  of  justice.  And,  moreover,  there  is  a  force  to  pro- 
tect the  execution.'  Fouquier  then  proceeded  on  his  way  to 
dine  with  his  companions.  It  is  correct  to  say  that  a 
batch  of  six  carts  was  waiting  only  for  this  order  to  set  out 
for  the  Barrier  of  the  Faubourg  Saint-Antoine.  This  was 
immediately  done. 

"  In  regard  to  the  humanity  which  Fouquier  affects,  and 
the  bitterness  he  feels  about  the  sanguinary  law  of  the  22nd 
of  Prairial,  his  conduct  is  not  found  to  be  in  accord  with  the 
sentiments  of  humanity  which  he  parades,  since  it  is  notor- 
ious that  in  my  presence  and  in  the  presence  of  several  others 
attached  to  the  Tribunal,  Fouquier,  being  at  luncheon  with 
several  jurors,  worthy  executors  of  that  law  of  blood,  coldly 
calculated,  as  he  picked  his  teeth,  the  number  of  victims 
who  were  to  be  despatched.  '  Things  must  move,'  said  he. 
*  There  must  be  400  or  450  this  decade  ;  for  the  next  one,  so 
many  are  always  to  be  had.'  And  the  cannibal  jurors, 
before  whom  he  made  such  barbarous  calculations,  applauded. 
The  fact  is  so  notorious  that  there  are  few  among  those 
attached  to  the  Tribunal  who  did  not  share  those  atrocious 
sentiments  who  are  not  in  a  position  to  affirm  it  ;  more- 
over, his  later  conduct  had  only  too  well  verified  his 
calculations.  It  is,  for  the  honour  of  humanity,  only  too 
notorious  that  he  put  on  trial  as  many  as  seventy  persons 
at  once,  and  charged  them  with  taking  part  in  the  alleged 
conspiracies  in  the  prisons,  especially  in  the  first  batch  from 
the   Luxembourg  when   a  scaffolding   was   erected  which 


170  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

reached  to  the  top  of  the  hall.  Sixty-nine  persons  were  tried 
before  three  o'clock,  and  executed  the  same  day.  That  was 
in  the  case  of  the  girl  Renaud,  her  family,  and  Admiral. 
All  the  people  of  Paris  have  seen  or  learned  from  public 
conversation  in  what  manner,  in  less  than  four  hours,  sixty- 
nine  persons  were  tried  and  condemned  to  death  as  accom- 
plices of  Renaud  and  Admiral.  Things  were  hurried  so 
much  that,  in  order  to  avoid  the  time  that  would  have  been 
occupied  by  asking  the  names  and  descriptions  of  so  great 
a  number  of  persons  and  having  them  written  down  by  the 
registrar,  the  judges'  and  the  jurors'  lists  were  made  in  the 
registry  the  evening  before.  This  is  how  the  proceedings 
enlightened  the  consciences  of  the  jurors.  An  accused 
person  would  be  asked  :  '  Are  you  acquainted  with  the 
conspiracy  that  existed,  etc.  ?  '  The  accused  would  answer 
in  the  negative.  Then  he  was  asked  this  other  question 
which  w^ould  seem  to  have  been  answered  by  the  preceding 
one  :  '  Have  you  taken  part  in  that  conspiracy  ?  '  The  same 
negative  answer.  If  the  accused  wanted  to  enter  into  any 
details  to  demonstrate  that  he  could  not  have  taken  part 
in  that  conspiracy,  as  soon  as  he  opened  his  mouth  the 
pitiless  Dumas  would  say  to  him  :  '  You  can  be  heard  no 
longer.  Gendarmes,  do  your  duty.'  And  if  the  accused 
still  wanted  to  speak,  he  was  not  allowed  to  take  part  in 
the  proceedings.  When  the  questions  had  been  Repeated 
sixty-nine  times  and  the  laconic  answer,  '  No,'  had  been 
returned  sixty-nine  times,  the  Prosecutor  summed  up  for 
a  quarter  of  an  hour,  the  President  read  out  the  questions 
which  the  jury  were  to  answer,  and  the  legion  of  accused 
persons  had  to  retire.  The  jurors  retired  as  a  matter  of  form 
to  their  room,  where  they  remained  for  half-an-hour,  then 
came  back,  and  handed  in  their  declarations.  The  Public 
Prosecutor  made  a  final  speech.  J  udgment  was  pronounced, 
and  the  registrar  was  sent  to  tell  the  victims  that  within 
half-an-hour,  that  is  to  say  within  the  time  it  took  to  cut 
off  their  hair  and  bind  their  hands,  they  would  start  for  the 
scaffold.  This  first  trial  is  a  type  of  those  that  followed  it. 
And  it  was  on  that  occasion  that  the  custom  began  of  thus 


"THINGS    MUST    MOVE"  171 

playing  with  justice,  and  transforming  into  a  legal  butchery 
a  Tribunal  which,  from  the  very  severity  of  its  functions, 
ought  to  have  been  most  scrupulously  subject  to  forms.  It 
was  Fouquier  who,  either  in  person  or  by  deputy,  presided 
over  the  indictments  and  judgments.  He  used  to  say  : 
'  Things  must  move.' 

"  Fouquier  pretends  that  he  only  acted  by  order  of  the 
Committees.  Here  are  two  facts  which  prove  that,  if  this 
is  so,  he  must  have  given  a  very  great  extension  to  his 
orders. 

"  Boucher,  an  usher  at  the  Tribunal,  an  honest  and  a 
feehng  man,  told  me,  in  the  bitterness  of  his  heart,  that 
Fouquier  having  given  orders  to  the  ushers  to  go  to  a  prison 
to  fetch  a  woman  named  Biron  who  was  to  be  put  on  trial 
next  day  and  to  form  part  of  a  hatch.  He  remarked  to  him 
that  there  were  two  women  of  the  name  of  Biron,  one  the 
widow  of  the  Duke  who  had  been  condemned  to  death, 
and  the  other  the  widow  of  the  Marshal.^  Fouquier  said  : 
'  Bring  them  both.  They  will  pass  through  it.'  In  fact, 
they  both  passed  through  it  next  day,  and  both  were  sent 
to  the  scaffold. 

"  The  same  incident  was  repeated  and  also  through  the 
agency  of  the  same  Boucher,  who  told  it  to  me.  Fouquier 
gave  this  usher  a  warrant  to  arresta  person  named  Castellane. 
The  usher  remarked  to  him  that  he  knew  several  persons  of 
the  same  name.  '  Arrest  all  who  bear  that  name,'  replied 
Fouquier.  Only  one  was  arrested  because  no  others  called 
Castellane  were  found. 

"  Finally,  Fouquier  said  to  Tavcmier,  a  clerk  in  the  registry 
of  the  Tribunal,  when  speaking  of  Fabricius,  the  chief 
registrar,  who  had  been  imprisoned  for  four  months  and  put 
into  sohtary  confinement  by  Robespierre,  and  who,  since 
the  restoration  of  the  Tribunal,  had  again  been  appointed 
to  his  old  post  by  the  National  Convention,  that  Fabricius 
was  wrong  to  bear  him  ill-will,  seeing  that  he,  Fouquier, 
had  prevented  Fabricius  from  being  placed  on  trial  and  Taver- 

»  They  were  Amelie  de  Boufflers,  Biron's  widow,  and  Fran9oise 
Pauline  de  Roye,  Marshal  Biron's  wife. 


172  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

nier  also,  and  that  he  had  prevented  the  witness,  another 
friend  of  Fabricius,  from  being  charged  along  with  him, 
whilst  there  was  neither  accusation  nor  denunciation  against 
Fabricius  any  more  than  against  Tavernier  or  the  witness  ; 
these  two  last  have  never  been  arrested,  and,  on  the  con- 
trary, have  always  continued  to  perform  their  functions  at 
the  Tribunal,  to  which  they  were  re-appointed  on  its 
restoration. 

"It  is  within  my  knowledge  that  for  more  than  six 
months  no  registrar  was  ever  summoned  to  be  present 
when  lots  were  drawn  to  select  the  judges  and  jurors  ; 
the  Public  Prosecutor  sent  to  the  registry  the  Ust  which 
was  afterwards  furnished  to  the  ushers  in  order  that 
they  might  summon  them ;  moreover,  the  ushers  were 
not  present  at  the  deliberations  in  the  Council  Chamber 
and  they  were  only  provided  with  a  memorandum  of 
the  proceedings  so  as  to  make  out  and  sign  the  minutes  ; 
several  times  when  persons  who  had  been  acquitted  presented 
themselves  at  the  registry  to  obtain  the  documents  neces- 
sary in  order  to  get  the  help  that  was  granted  them  by  the 
law,  Fouquier  forbade  those  documents  to  be  given  without 
consulting  him,  because  he  did  not  wish  everybody  to  have 
that  help,  although  the  law  made  no  exceptions.  He  would 
say,  in  order  to  empower  himself  to  prevent  the  delivery  of 
those  documents  :  '  What !  these  beggars  are  too  lucky  to 
be  acquitted.  It  is  incredible.  What  sort  of  jurors  could 
acquit  them  ?     Give  them  nothing.'  "  ^ 

Charles  Nicolas  Tavernier,  aged  38,  a  clerk  to  the  registrar 
of  the  Tribunal,  residing  in  the  Rue  de  la  Monnaie,  heard 
Fouquier  say  in  the  ushers'  office  :  "I  must  get  through 
with  250  to  300  accused  persons  in  the  decade."  When 
any  one  was  acquitted,  Fouquier  used  to  ask  for  the  names 
of  the  jurors  who  were  sitting.  Several  times  he  gave 
orders  for  certain  jurors  to  be  summoned  on  the  pretext  that 
one  section  was  weaker  than  another.  The  indictments  were 
delivered  to  those  concerned  on  the  day  before  the  trial  at 
seven  or  eight  o'clock  in  the  evening. 

*  W.  501,  2nd  dossier,  p.  77. 


THE    DANTON    AFFAIR  173 

Gabriel  Nicolas  Monet,  aged  38,  an  usher  at  the  Tribunal, 
residing  in  the  Rue  du  Contrat-Social  in  the  Section  of  the 
same  name,  declared  that  Fouquier  selected  the  jurors  who 
were  to  be  summoned.  Those  whom  he  chose  oftenest  were 
Renaudin,  Nicolas,  Desboisseaux,  Lumiere,  Vilate,  and 
Gravier.  This  choice  only  began  after  the  operation  of  the 
law  of  the  22nd  of  Prairial. 

Monet  heard  Fouquier  say  :  "  Next  decade  there  must  be 
300  or  350  tried.  Things  are  not  moving.  We  must  act 
in  revolutionary  fashion." 

Citizeness  Goureau,  aged  36,  of  No.  18,  Faubourg  Saint- 
Martin,  and  her  sister-in-law,  nee  Alexandre  Rosalie  Pigeon, 
having  been  commissioned  to  bring  to  the  Tribunal  a  letter 
to  Fouquier-Tinville  from  Bourdon  (of  the  Oise),  saw  three 
jurors  entering  the  Council  Chamber  where  Fouquier  was. 
"  Now  we  are  free  !  "  said  they.  Fouquier  asked  them  if  the 
prisoners  had  been  tried.  "  Yes,"  answered  the  three 
jurors.  "  We  do  not  know  of  what  they  were  accused. 
To  know  that,  you  have  only  to  run  after  them."  At  this 
remark  Fouquier  burst  into  laughter. 

Jean  Baptiste  Topino-Lebrun,  aged  ;ji,  born  at  Marseilles, 
a  juror  of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal,  residing  in  the  Louvre, 
had  always  regarded  as  a  problem  Fouquier's  activity  in  his 
duties  combined  with  the  neghgence  with  which  he  fol- 
lowed up  "  the  business  of  the  great  conspiracies,  either  to 
reach  their  real  heads  or  to  extirpate  their  roots."  To  take 
an  instance.  "  In  the  project  for  rescuing  the  Queen  from 
the  Conciergerie,  and  afterwards  when  she  was  led  to  execu- 
tion, the  police  administration,  influenced  by  Hebert  and 
Chaumette,  ought  to  have  been  differently  examined  {sic)." 
There  was  the  same  neghgence  in  the  Ronsin  affair  and  in 
that  of  Westermann  "  who  was  placed  on  trial  for  having 
violated  all  the  forms  relative  to  La  Vendee." 

"  Fouquier  did  not  seem  to  me  to  be  without  party 
spirit  in  the  Danton  affair.  If  he  did  not  write  to  the  Com- 
mittee of  Pubhc  Safety  about  the  alleged  rebelUon  of  the 
accused  persons,  why,  when  he  demanded  the  reading  of  the 
law  which  took  away  their  right  to  plead,  did  he  begin  by 


174  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

saying  :  '  On  account  of  the  rebellion  of  the  accused  per- 
sons '  ?  Why,  on  the  fourth  day,  did  he  and  Herman  go 
to  the  jurors'  room  to  induce  them  to  declare  that  they  were 
sufficiently  informed  ?  After  that  trial,  did  he,  at  the  very 
least,  act  on  these  words  of  Danton,  so  important  to  our 
liberty  :  '  I  demand  commissioners  from  the  Convention 
in  order  that  they  may  receive  my  denunciation  of  the  sys- 
tem of  dictatorship '  ?  It  was  the  Convention  that 
should  have  been  writen  to  and  not  the  Committee  of 
Public  Safety. 

"  It  was  Fouquier  who  caused  the  red  shirts  to  be  put  on 
the  52  prisoners  in  the  affair  of  Admiral  and  the  girl  Renaud. 
They  were  by  no  means  accused  of  assassination. 

"  The  writs  of  indictment  seemed  to  me  to  strain  and 
exaggerate  the  charges  which  could  be  made  against 
prisoners.  Sometimes  terrible  facts  were  in  no  way  borne 
out  at  the  trial  by  the  documents  or  by  the  statements 
of  the  witnesses."^ 

Jean  Baptiste  Sambat,  aged  35,  a  juror  of  the  Revolu- 
tionary Tribunal,  residing  at  No.  36  Rue  Taitbout,  had 
no  acquaintance  with  the  facts  alleged  against  the  prisoner 
Fouquier.  However,  he  noticed,  a  little  before  the  period 
of  the  law  of  Prairial,  that  grave  accusations  were  often 
found  to  be  void  through  the  lack  of  documents  and 
witnesses.^ 

Jean  Nicolas  Thierriet-Grandpre,  aged  41,  chief  clerk 
of  the  Commission  for  the  Administration  of  Civil  Affairs, 
Police,  and  Tribunals,  residing  at  No.  38,  Rue  de  Thion- 
ville,  declared  that  on  the  day  following  that  on  which 
Freteau  was  acquitted,  he  went  to  Fouquier  to  consider  with 
him  what  measures  were  to  be  taken  for  the  security  of  the 
Hospice  de  I'Eveche.  Fouquier  said  to  him  :  "  You  do  not 
know  that  yesterday  they  acquitted  Freteau  at  the  Tribunal, 
though  the  man  is  known  to  me  as  having  been  a  royalist 
and  a  definite  counter-revolutionary  under  the  Constituent 
Assembly.  But  I  swear  that  before  long  he  will  be  taken 
again  and  then  he  will  not  escape." 

1  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  145.  *  Ihid. 


CURIOUS    METHODS  175 

Another  day  Fouquier  told  him  with  "  a  mixture  of 
pleasure  and  irony  "  how  he  had  received  in  his  office  an 
individual  who  came  to  give  him  information  about  some 
case.  For  several  hours  Fouquier  had  "  wheedled  "  him, 
then  had  suddenly  handed  him  over  to  the  Tribunal,  "  which 
condemned  him  in  a  quarter  of  an  hour." 

Louis  Charles  Hally,  aged  42,  janitor  of  the  house  of  deten- 
tion of  Plessis-Egalite,  only  became  acquainted  with  the 
famous  conspiracy  in  the  prisons  through  the  report  of 
Viart  and  Courlet-Beaulop.  He  immediately  communicated 
this  report  to  Fouquier,  who  said  to  him  :  "  I  shall  put  them 
on  trial  to-morrow  or  the  day  after,  and  I  shall  summon 
you  as  a  witness."  He  asked  for  time  to  inform  himself 
about  the  matter.  Fouquier  refused  it.  On  the  following 
day  the  prisoners  were  placed  on  trial,  Hally,  summoned  as 
a  witness,  could  not  make  a  declaration  as  he  did  not  know  a 
single  fact  about  the  case,  which  was  adjourned.  Fouquier 
reprimanded  him,  and  showed  ill-humour  towards  him 
"  because  the  business  could  not  be  ended  as  he  wished. "^ 

Louis  Pierre  Dufourny,  aged  55,  an  architect  in  the  House 
of  Explosives  at  the  Arsenal  in  Paris, ^  in  a  very  long,  pre- 
tentious, circumstantial,  and  rather  obscure  deposition,  in 
which  it  appears  that  he  liked  pushing  himself  forward  and 
distributing  praise  and  blame  to  the  Thermidor  conquerors — 
Dufourny  charged  Fouquier  with  having  been  secretly  favour- 
able to  Ronsin,  "  Robespierre's  man,  and  with  having  con- 
tributed to  suppress  the  clues  that  might  have  made  known 
the  causes  of  La  Vendee,  the  methods  employed  to  keep  that 
ulcer  open,  and  the  participation  in  it  of  Robespierre  and  of 
Ronsin  as  well  as  their  actual  accomphces." 

Summoned  as  a  witness  at  Danton's  trial,  Dufourny  said 
that  he  was  systematically  set  aside.  In  vain  did  he  write 
about  the  matter  to  Fouquier.  He  was  kept  in  the  witnesses' 
room  for  the  three  days  that  the  proceedings  lasted.  He 
there  observed  all  that  was  taking  place  around  him.     He 

1  W.   501,   2nd  dossier,   p.   61. 

*  Dufourny  succeeded  Lavoisier  as  Director  of  Explosives  at  the 
Arsenal. 


176  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

saw  several  members  of  the  Committee  of  General  Security 
"  sitting  at  the  Tribmial,"  among  others,  David,  Amar, 
Voulland  and  Vadicr.  "  They  were  unrecognisable  from 
anger,  pallor,  and  fright,  so  much  did  they  seem  to  fear  that 
they  would  see  the  victims  escape  death."  They  kept  com- 
ing in  and  going  out,  and  were  agitated  by  an  activity  which 
displayed  all  their  passions.  They  communicated  with 
Fouquier  in  his  office  as  well  as  in  the  passages  and  even  in 
the  entrance  to  the  witnesses'   room."^ 

Jean  Pierre  Victor  Feral,  aged  39,  judge  of  the  district  of 
Pont-Chalier,2  residing  in  Paris  at  No.  3,  Rue  de  la  Femme- 
sans-Tete  declared  that,  being  present  at  the  last  session  of 
Hebert's  trial  and  finding  himself  in  the  Council  Chamber, 
he  heard  Fouquier  propose  to  the  judges  and  some  jurors  to 
have  Lieutenant-Colonel  Quetineau's  widow  and  a  man  called 
Armand^  withdrawn  from  the  proceedings  "seeing  that 
there  were  no  proofs  against  them,  and  to  send  them  back 
to  the  house  of  detention  because  proofs  might  be  found  in 
other  cases."  He  added  that  he  was  going  to  make  this  pro- 
posal to  the  Tribunal  when  the  session  opened.  Several 
judges  and  jurors  opposed  this  initiative  of  Fouquier.  The 
witness  believed  that,  disarmed  by  this  opposition,  Fouquier 
remained  silent  at  the  session.* 

1  W.  501,  2nd  dossier,  p.  41. 

'  Pont-l'Eveque,    Calvados. 

»  Jean  Antoine  Florent  Armand,  a  medical  student,  implicated 
in  Hebert's  trial  and  condemned  to  death  on  the  4th  of  Germinal 
in  the  year  II. 

*  W.  501,   2nd  dossier,  p.   85. 


CHAPTER    VIII 

FOUQUIER-TINVILLE'S  first  trial  :  CONTINUATION  AND 
END  OF  THE  INQUIRY.  (VENDEMIAIRE  AND  BRUMAIRE 
OF  THE   YEAR  III.) 

JEAN  BAPTISTE  TA VERNIER,  registrar's  clerk  of 
the  Revolutionary  Tribunal,  was  commissioned  to  pay 
50  livres  to  the  prisoners  each  decade.  He  received 
their  claims,  and  presented  them  to  Fouquier.  A 
great  number  of  them  "  overwhelmed  him  with  claims  in 
regard  to  sums  deposited  with  the  Pubhc  Prosecutor 
instead  of  being  placed  in  the  registry." 

Tavernier  related  these  facts  to  Judge  Forestier  at  his 
examination  on  the  12th  of  Vendemiaire  in  the  year  III., 
and  he  gave  details.  A  prisoner  claimed  "  his  decades  out 
of  about  1,800  livres  in  paper-money,  1,392  livres  in  gold." 
Another  claimed  them  out  of  2,282  livres.  On  a  certain  day 
when  Tavernier  "  presented  to  Fouquier  their  just  claims 
and  pointed  out  to  him  that  he  lacked  everything,"  the 
Pubhc  Prosecutor  answered  him  sharply  ("  for,"  said  the 
witness,  "  he  is  violent  ") :  "  Give  me  the  list  of  these  beggars. 
I  will  make  them  pass  through  it  to-morrow." 

Tavernier  knew  what  that  meant.  He  pointed  out  to 
the  complainants  the  extreme  danger  of  their  demands. 
They  became  silent.  It  was  only  after  Fouquier's  arrest 
that  the  deposits  of  certain  prisoners  "  who  had  not  yet  been 
guillotined"  were  sent  to  the  registry. 

Tavernier  remembered  the  calculations  made  by  Fouquier 
to  cause  a  certain  number  of  heads  to  fall  each  decade. 
One  day  he  heard  him  say  :  "  Last  decade  furnished  so 
many  ;  this  one  the  number  must  go  to  450  or  even  500. 
Come  !  Call  an  usher  1  "  The  usher  came.  "  Come,  you 
fellows,"  said  Fouquier,  "  things  must  move.  Last  decade 
things  did  not  turn  out  badly.  But  this  decade  they  must 
reach  450  at  least." 

M  177 


178  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

Since  Fouquier's  arrest  the  witness  had  met  him  at  the 
Conciergerie.     Fouquier  approached  him  and  said  to  him : 

"  Are  you  a  friend  of  Fabricius  ?  " 

"  Yes,  you  know  it." 

"  I  am  told  that  he  has  a  grudge  against  me." 

"  I  know  nothing  about  it." 

"  He  could  do  me  a  great  service.  He  knows  Barras, 
Freron,  and  other  Deputies.  He  could  serve  me  with  them. 
He  is  wrong  to  have  a  grudge  against  me.  For  it  was  I 
who  caused  the  postponement  of  his  trial.  It  was  even 
intended  to  join  you  with  him,  as  well  as  Wolff," 

The  witness  ended  by  saying  that  his  astonishment  was 
so  great  that  he  withdrew  without  any  further  explanation. 

Louis  Francois  Ferriere-Sauveboeuf,  aged  32,  living  on 
his  private  income  and  detained  at  La  Force,  declared  that 
on  the  28th  of  Prairial  he  was  summoned  at  one  o'clock  in 
the  morning  before  the  Committee  of  General  Security. 
Fouquier-Tinville  came  there,  about  two  o'clock,  to  complain 
of  having  been  ill-treated  in  a  guard-room.  He  heard  Fou- 
quier-Tinville say,  in  the  presence  of  the  assembled  Com- 
mittee "  which  contradicted  him  in  no  way  "  :  "  I  have  thirty- 
nine  of  them  to-day  who  went  to  the  Barrier  du  Trone 
Renverse  for  the  Bicetre  plots.  To-morrow  I  shall  send 
sixty  of  them."     And  the  witness  heard  cries  of  "  Bravo  !  " 

He  also  heard  it  said  to  Deschamps,  the  registrar's  secre- 
tary of  Bicetre,  that  Fouquier-Tinville  came  with  gendarmes 
to  fetch  the  second  batch  from  Bicetre,  and  that  he  refused 
to  hsten  to  Osselin^  who  was  commenting  on  this 
transference.  2 

1  Charles  Nicolas  Osselin,  a  member  of  the  Convention,  had  voted 
for  Louis  XVI. 's  death.  He  was  a  member  of  the  Committee  of  General 
Security  and  President  of  the  Tribunal  which  was  established  on 
August  17.  He  proposed  the  law  against  the' emigrants.  Informed 
against  for  having  gone  security  for  an  emigrant,  Charlotte  de 
Luppe,  Countesse  de  Charry,  he  was  put  on  trial,  condemned  to  be 
deported,  and  transferred  to  Bicetre,  where  he  was  implicated  in  the 
conspiracy  in  the  prisons.  He  was  brought  before  the  Tribunal, 
condemned  to  death,  and  executed  on  June  26,  1794.  He  had  tried 
to  commit  suicide  by  stabbing  himself  in  the  breast  with  a  nail. 

»  W.  501,   2nd  dossier,  p.   72. 


AN    UNUSUAL    HUMANITY  179 

In  a  second  deposition,  three  days  later,  Ferriere-Sauve- 
boeuf  repeated  the  words  of  Joly,  an  usher  at  the  Criminal 
Tribunal  of  the  Department.  On  the  8th  of  Thermidor, 
this  usher  met  Fouquier,  who  said  to  him  :  "  Your  Tribunal 
is  not  keeping  up.  It  only  makes  two  or  three  mount  (the 
scaffold),  and  I,  /  shall  make  fifty  mount  it  the  day  after  next 
decade  begins." 

Ferriere-Sauveboeuf  observed  that  when  he  was  at  the 
Committee  of  General  Security  he  heard  Fouquier  say  : 
"/  have  made  thirty -nine  of  them  mount  (the  scaffold)^ 
to-day,  and  to-morrow  I  will  make  sixty  of  them  mount  it." 
Fouquier  could  not  carry  out  his  intention  for,  having 
been  beaten  in  a  police-station,  he  was  ill  on  that  day. 
The  next  day  "  was  that  of  the  '  batch'  of  people  from 
Bicetre,  and  the  29th  of  Prairial  was  that  of  the  sixty  which 
he  had  predicted."^ 

The  following  deposition  is  in  part  favourable  to  Fouquier  : 
Urbain  Didier  Chateau,  Fouquier's  ex-secretary,  afterwards 
an  usher  in  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal,  aged  34,  noticed, 
when  he  was  the  Pubhc  Prosecutor's  secretary,  that  almost 
all  the  letters  he  wrote  to  the  Committee  of  General  Security 
bore  the  address  of  Vadier  only. 

He  knew  also  that  several  citizens  came,  on  several 
occasions,  to  ask  Fouquier  to  bring  about  the  trials  of  their 
children  who  had  been  prisoners  for  a  long  time,  saying  that 
if  they  were  guilty  their  heads  ought  to  fall,  but  if  innocent 
they  ought  to  be  given  back  to  the  service  of  the  country. 
Fouquier,  reminding  them  of  the  causes  of  their  children's 
imprisonment,  remarked  that  "  he  did  not  wish  to  cause 
defenders  of  the  country  who  were  only  guilty  of  foolish 
actions  to  be  put  to  death  ;  that  if  he  put  them  on  trial 
it  would  ruin  them,  and  that  he  preferred  to  leave  them 
longer  in  prison  in  the  hope  that  when  the  great  operations 
were  ended  there  would  come  a  gentler  law  which  would 
set  them  free." 

Chateau  also  knew   that   Fouquier   several   times  said  : 
"It  is  a  tyranny  and  a  very  great  annoyance  that  the 
»  W.  501,  2nd  dossier,  p.  79 


i8o  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

inhabitants  of  Nantes  should  be  brought  before  this  Tribunal 
without  any  evidence  against  them." 

Since  he  became  an  usher  at  the  Tribunal,  Chateau, 
being  one  day  in  the  Council  Chamber,  heard  Fouquier 
and  Dumas  say  to  five  or  six  jurors  that  it  was  astonishing 
they  had  not  convicted  an  accused  ex-noble  (whose  name 
he  had  forgotten).  According  to  them,  he  was  a  man  who 
ought  not  to  escape  the  punishment  of  death  ;  but  they  held 
him,  and  they  would  know  how  to  take  him  again  without 
it  being  possible  for  him  to  escape. 

At  the  beginning  of  Thermidor,  Chateau  heard  Fouquier 
say  to  two  jurors,  as  he  was  leaving  the  session  in  the  Hall  of 
Liberty,  with  papers  under  his  arm,  and  was  at  the  bottom 
of  the  staircase  that  led  to  his  room  :  "  It  is  astonishing 
that  you  have  condemned  that  prisoner.  I  hope  he  will 
be  set  free." 

At  the  same  period  there  had  been  a  number  of  persons 
tried,  among  whom  were  three  who  had  been  acquitted, 
and  who  ought  to  have  been  set  at  liberty  twenty-four  hours 
after  the  verdict.  Chateau  went  to  find  Fouquier  the  next 
day,  at  eleven  o'clock  in  the  evening,  at  the  refreshment- 
room  of  the  Tribunal.  He  asked  him  for  an  order  to  set 
these  three  persons  free.  Fouquier  read  the  three  names, 
said  that  among  them  there  was  an  ex-noble  who  had  been 
badly  tried,  and  that  he  would  see  about  getting  hold  of 
him  again.  For  this  reason  it  was  necessary  to  leave  them 
in  prison  until  there  was  a  fresh  order.^ 

Armand  Benoit  Joseph  Guffroy,  Deputy  for  the  Pas-de- 
Calais  at  the  Convention,  residing  at  No.  35  Rue  Saint- 
Honore,  was  not  well  acquainted  with  Fouquier-Tinville. 
He  had  heard,  either  in  the  offices  of  the  Committee  of 
General  Security,  or  from  the  members  of  the  Convention, 
that  at  the  beginning  or  at  the  end  of  each  decade,  when 
Fouquier  brought  long  lists  of  prisoners  to  the  prosecutor's 
office,  he  used  to  say  in  a  gay  tone,  rubbing  his  hands  : 
' '  Ah !  we  shall  unbreech  {decidotterons)  a  good  quantity 
of  them  this  decade." 

1  W.   501.   2nd,  dossier,   p.    74. 


CHARLOTTE   CORDAY 


A    SYSTEM    OF    DESPOTISM  i8i 

He  also  heard  his  colleague,  Lecointre,  say  that,  when 
Fouquier  was  dining  with  him,  some  one  (perhaps  Lecointre 
himself)  said  to  Fouquier  :  "  How  is  it  possible  that  you, 
who  were  at  first  beHeved  to  be  a  just  man,  can  lend  yourself 
to  committing  or  helping  to  commit  so  many  cruelties  ?  " 

Fouquier  answered  :  "  When  one  has  one  foot  in  crime, 
it  is  necessary  to  plunge  right  in." 

The  witness  several  times  saw  Fouquier  coming  to  the 
Committee  of  General  Security  and  asking  for  papers  relating 
to  various  prisoners.  He  would  then  have  secret  conferences 
with  Vadier,  Amar,  and  some  others  of  whose  names  he 
could  not  be  certain.^ 

Next  came  Jacques  Bernard  Marie  Montane,  the  former 
President  of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal,  aged  43.2  He 
declared  that  at  the  period  of  the  creation  of  the  Revolution- 
ary Tribunal  he  had  been  appointed  President,  not  on  the 
nomination  of  a  Committee,  but  by  the  Convention  itself, 
by  a  majority  of  votes  given  in  secret  ballot.  It  was  at  the 
time  of  the  installation  of  the  Tribunal  that  he  saw  Fouquier 
for  the  first  time.  For  two  months  he  lived  on  fairly  good 
terms  with  him.  He  had  then  no  suspicion  of  him.  It  was 
otherwise  during  the  following  two  months,  when  these  two 
magistrates  were  at  open  war  "  either  on  account  of  the 
absolute  despotism  which  Fouquier-Tinville  pubhcly  exer- 
cised over  the  whole  Tribunal  or  on  account  of  the  criminal 
operations  with  which  Montane  publicly  reproached  him, 
or  on  account  of  the  generals,  the  commissioners  for  war, 
the  ex-nobles,  the  ex-captains  of  cavalry,  the  ex-marquises, 
whom  he  exempted  from  the  sword  of  the  law,  clandestinely 

'  W.   501,   2nd  dossier,   p.   65. 

»  Fouquier  had  denounced  him  for  having  erased  from  the  sen- 
tence on  Leonard  Bourdon's  assailants  the  clause  confiscating  their 
goods,  and  for  having  at  Charlotte  Corday's  trial  modified  the  ques- 
tions propounded  to  the  jury,  giving  them  a  sense  which  made  her 
case  one  that  could  be  tried  by  a  common-law  tribunal.  In  his  de- 
nunciation, Fouquier  had  asked  that  the  President  "  should  not  be 
delivered  over  to  the  rigours  of  justice."  When  Montane  was 
arrested,  he  had  been  humanely  forgotten  in  prison  by  Fouquier, 
and  thus  saved  in  spite  of  letters  in  which  he  demanded  to  be  placed 
on  trial  (W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  pp.  89,  90,  91). 


i82  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

and  without  the  knowledge  of  the  Tribunal,  although  they 
had  been  sent  forward  by  the  constituted  authorities,  by 
representatives  of  the  people,  and  by  decrees  of  the  National 
Convention,  and  for  crimes  which  came  only  within  the 
purvdew  of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal." 

This  latter  part  of  Montana's  deposition  gives  cause  for 
astonishment.  We  have  not  been  able  to  find  out  on  what 
written  proofs  he  based  the  charge  of  having  exempted 
any  counter-revolutionary  ex-nobles  from  punishment.  ^ 

Nicolas  Gastrez,  aged  25,  employed  at  the  office  of  PubUc 
Instruction,  residing  at  No.  1342  Rue  de  Seine,  begged 
Dumas,  who  lived  in  the  same  house,  to  bring  him  with 
Gobertiere,  one  of  his  friends,  into  the  Hall  of  the 
Tribunal  on  the  day  of  Admiral's  trial.  The  hearing  had 
not  begun.  Dumas  took  him  into  his  office  "  where  he  was 
brought  a  letter,  folded  in  a  fancy  shape,  coming  from  the 
Luxembourg  prison,  and  which  he  told  them  was  signed 
by  the  ci-devant  Comte  de  Fleury."  This  letter,  which  he 
read  aloud  after  reading  it  to  himself,  contained  expressions 
which  Gastrez  did  not  remember,  "  but  which  did  not  seem 
to  him  becoming  to  apply  to  a  patriot."  As  soon  as 
the  letter  was  read,  Fouquier  came  in  and  Dumas  told 
him  about  it,  asking  him  :  "  Does  it  not  seem  to  you  that 
this  fine  fellow  is  in  a  hurry  ?  "  Fouquier  answered  :  "  Yes, 
he  appears  to  me  to  be  in  a  hurry,  and  I  am  going  to  send  for 
him."  This  was  done,  the  ci-devant  Comte  de  Fleury 
was  joined  with  the  alleged  accomplices  in  the  plot  against 
Robespierre,  and  underwent  their  fate.  When  he  appeared 
at  the  Tribunal,  the  letter  he  had  written  to  Dumas  was  not 
even  mentioned  to  him. 

Jean  Placide  Gobertiere,  employed  in  the  Commission 
of  Commerce,  aged  26,  appeared  next,  and  declared  that 
on  the  day  of  Admiral's  trial  he  went  with  Gastrez  to  the 
Tribunal.  He  confirmed  Gastrez's  deposition  in  all  details. 
He  added  that  the  Comte  de  Fleury  was  taken  to  the  scaffold 
on  the  same  day  in  a  red  shirt. 

Jean  Louis  Joly,  aged  40,  usher  in  the  Criminal  Tribunal 
1  W.  501,   2nd  dossier,  p.   65. 


A    LAGGARD    TRIBUNAL  i8 


J 


of  the  Department  of  Paris,  deposed  that  some  nine  months 
before,  about  eleven  o'clock  at  night,  as  he  was  on  duty  at 
the  Criminal  Tribunal  during  the  hearing  of  a  case,  there 
arose  a  tumult.  He  left  the  court  in  order  to  silence  the 
pubhc.  "  The  first  persons  whom  he  perceived,  exciting 
the  trouble,  were  Fouquier  and  Cofhnhal."     He  urged  them 

to  be  silent.     They  answered  "  that  he  could  go  to  , 

that  the  Criminal  Tribunal  was  composed  only  of  aristocrats, 
and  that  they  would  find  out  the  secret  of  putting  them 
on  their  best  behaviour."  A  little  later,  Fouquier  threat- 
ened him  again,  and  repeated  the  same  remarks  to  him. 

On  the  8th  of  Thermidor  last,  about  seven  or  eight 
o'clock  in  the  evening,  as  the  witness  was  leaving  his  Tribunal, 
he  met  Fouquier  on  the  Pont  au  Change,  Having  accosted 
him,  the  Pubhc  Prosecutor  said  to  him  :  "  Well,  your 
Tribunal  hardly  keeps  pace."  Joly  answered  that  the 
judges  could  not  compound  with  the  law,  and  that  the 
manner  in  which  proceedings  were  conducted  was  different 
from  that  of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal ;  that,  however, 
on  the  i6th  of  the  same  month,  they  were  to  have  an  affair 
in  which  there  were  fourteen  prisoners,  all  charged  with  the 
printing  and  circulating  false  paper-money.  Fouquier 
answered  him  :  "  Ah  !  that  is  something  !  As  for  me,  I 
shall  make  fifty  of  them  pass  through  it  on  the  first  day 
of  the  next  decade.'"^ 

The  witness  Didier  Thirion,  Deputy  for  the  Moselle, 
thought  that  at  Danton's  trial  it  was  the  Pubhc  Prosecutor's 
duty  to  have  the  prisoners  judged  on  the  facts  of  which  they 
were  accused  by  the  Convention,  and  not  himself  to  have 
become  their  accuser  by  imputing  to  them  absolutely 
false  and  calumnious  facts  in  order  to  get  a  decree  depriving 
them  of  the  right  to  plead,  and  thus  shorten  their  trial  by 
preventing  them  from  being  heard.  The  National  Con- 
vention would  not  have  passed  the  decree  depriving  them 
of  the  right  to  plead  if  it  had  not  been  deceived  by  the  report, 
based,  as  was  said,  on  a  letter  from  Fouquier-Tinville, 
stating  that  the  prisoners  were  in  revolt.  If  then,  this  last 
*  W.  501,  2nd  dossier,  pp.  65  and  67. 


i84  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

fact  was  demonstrated  to  be  false,  as  it  would  be  easy  to 
determine  from  the  depositions  of  those  who  were  present 
at  that  session,  it  will  be  admitted  that  the  PubUc  Prosecutor 
had  betrayed  his  trust.  Nor  was  it  less  a  betrayal  when, 
in  a  single  trial  and  at  a  single  sitting,  he  brought  to  trial 
at  one  time  as  many  as  fifty  or  sixty  persons,  taken  from  all 
comers  of  the  Republic,  the  greater  number  of  whom  had 
never  seen  each  other  and  had  not  the  least  connection  or 
correspondence  with  one  another.  The  law  could  never 
have  authorised  the  Public  Prosecutor  to  make  such  a 
grouping  {amalgame),  and  the  Public  Prosecutor  should 
be  guided,  in  his  whole  conduct,  only  by  the  Law  and  his 
own  heart,  which,  if  it  had  been  animated  by  any  feehngs 
of  humanity,  would  have  indignantly  repelled  such  measures. 
"  The  passive  instrument  of  tyranny,"  Didier  Thirion 
concluded,  "  is  sometimes  as  guilty  as  the  tyrant  himself. 
Tyrants  could  do  hardly  anything  without  the  cowardly 
and  criminal  complaisance  of  their  slaves.  Fouquier- 
Tinville  should  have  abandoned  or  abdicated  his  functions, 
or  have  performed  them  with  honour  and  probity."^ 

Jean  Lauchet,  aged  34,  general  secretary  of  the  Committee 
of  General  Security,  residing  at  No.  22  Rue  Nicaise,  Paris, 
knew  that  Fouquier  came  very  often  to  the  Committee. 
His  conferences  with  the  members  of  this  Committee  were 
secret.  However,  on  a  certain  night,  as  Fouquier  was 
leaving  very  late,  the  witness  spoke  to  him,  and  the  con- 
versation turned  on  the  great  number  of  prisoners  brought 
before  the  Tribunal  every  day.  Fouquier  answered  that 
it  was  the  only  way  to  empty  the  prisons,  and  that  things 
would  never  go  well  so  long  as  they  did  not  guillotine  a 
hundred  a  day.^ 

Gilbert  Liendon,  aged  37,  one  of  Fouquier-Tinville's 
ex-deputies,  judge  of  the  Tribunal  of  the  Second  Arrondisse- 
ment,  residing  at  No.  68,  Rue  Beaubourg,  had  no  knowledge 
of  the  fact  that  Fouquier,  with  whom  rested  the  entire 
direction  of  the  prosecutor's  office,  had  been  false  to  his 
trust. 

»W.  501,  2nd  dossier,  p.  78.  «W.  501,  2nd  dossier,  p.  64. 


Hertonnier,  dtlt. 


DANTON 
BORN    AT   ARCIS-SUR-AUllE,    1759,    GUILLOTINED    IN    TARIS,    1796 


A    DISLIKE    OF    WITNESSES  185 

Grebeauval,  aged  41,  another  of  Fouquier-Tinville's 
ex-deputies,  at  present  without  employment,  gave  evidence 
to  the  same  effect. 

Pierre  Dusser,  a  commissioner  of  poHce,  residing  at  No.  5, 
in  the  Rotonde  du  Temple,  declared  that  he  was  present 
at  the  hearing  on  the  day  when  the  ex-Marshal  de  Noailles- 
Mouchy,  his  wife,  and  others  were  tried,  and  that  Fouquier 
was  sitting.  "  The  woman  Mouchy,"  said  Dusser,  "  was 
at  the  end  of  the  first  bench,  and  Mouchy,  her  husband, 
at  the  beginning  of  the  second.  The  President  and  Fouquier, 
as  was  usual,  examined  each  of  the  prisoners,  and  the  woman 
Mouchy,  having  been  overlooked,  made  a  demand  whilst 
her  husband  was  being  examined,  saying  :  '  But,  citizens, 
you  have  asked  me  nothing.'  Fouquier  turned  towards 
the  prisoner,  and  then  said  in  a  low  voice  to  the  President : 
'  Mouchy's  wife  has  a  right  to  speak  now  ?  '  '  It  is  all 
the  same,'  said  the  President  to  the  prisoners,  '  you  are 
together.'  The  proceedings  went  on,  and  I  left  only  when 
the  jury  went  out  to  consider  their  verdict.  This  woman 
was  condemned  to  death  without  having  been  heard." 

Pierre  Goubaux,  aged  29,  secretary  in  the  prosecutor's 
office  of  the  Criminal  Tribunal  of  the  Department  of  Paris, 
residing  at  No.  20,  Rue  Hauteville,  had  heard  from  Laplace, 
another  secretary  in  the  prosecutor's  office,  the  story  of 
a  rather  strange  scene  between  Fouquier  and  one  of  the 
secretaries  in  his  office.  It  had  to  do  with  a  list  of  witnesses 
that  Fouquier  thought  far  too  long.  Swearing  at  intervals, 
he  said  to  the  man  who  seemed  to  have  made  out  the  list : 
"  Do  you  not  know  then  what  I  want  to  come  to  ?  I  want 
to  induce  the  Tribunal  to  do  without  witnesses,"  and  other 
similar  expressions.  In  fact,  a  few  days  later,  Goubaux 
saw  "  with  some  astonishment  "  the  decree  of  the  22nd  of 
Prairial. 

Personally,  he  had  no  other  information  to  give  in  regard  to 
Fouquier,  except  that  he  knew  him  to  be  a  very  violent  man. 

Citizen  Claude  Nicolas  La  Place  appeared,  and  confirmed 
Citizen  Goubaux's  evidence.^ 

*  W.   501,   2nd  dossier,   pp.  52-54. 


i86  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

Jean  Frederic  Martin,  aged  36,  a  lawyer,  residing  at  No.  2, 
Quai  de  la  Megisserie,  had  been  imprisoned  in  the  Luxem- 
bourg. He  heard  it  said  that  Fouquier  had  gone  to  the 
janitor's  room  in  that  house  of  detention  in  accordance  with 
a  decree  of  the  15th  or  the  i6th  of  Messidor^ ;  and  that  there 
he  had  had  an  interview  with  one  or  several  of  the  persons 
who  made  out  the  lists.  Moreover,  knowledge  of  this  fact 
could  be  obtained  either  from  Dubois,  his  secretary,  or 
from  Vemey,  the  turnkey. 

When  transferred,  with  a  hundred  and  fifty-five  others, 
from  the  Luxembourg  house  of  detention  to  the  Concier- 
gerie,  the  witness  heard  Fouquier  give  orders,  through  the 
window  of  the  registry,  that  two  of  the  hundred  and  fifty-five 
prisoners  should  be  placed  in  the  dark  cell  for  having  shown 
too  much  feeling  in  regard  to  the  fate  of  fifty  of  their  com- 
panions who  were  going  down  to  the  Tribunal  to  stand  their 
trial ;  a  feeling  all  the  more  pardonable  in  those  two 
prisoners  as  they  knew  that  a  similar  fate  awaited  them  the 
next  day.  In  fact,  on  that  very  day,  they  were  guillotined. 
The  proof  of  those  facts  could  be  furnished  by  the  turnkey 
of  the  Conciergerie  and  others. ^ 

The  Richards,  husband  and  wife,  aged  48  and  49,  janitors 
of  the  Conciergerie,  had  no  knowledge  of  the  facts  imputed 
to  Fouquier.  The  husband  had  "  always  known  him  to  be 
a  very  violent  man,  whom  he  feared  to  approach." 

Anne  Ducray,  aged  35,  a  clerk  in  the  registry  of  the 
Revolutionary  Tribunal,  residing  at  No.  Sy,  Rue  Saint- 
Jacques,  declared  that  he  remembered  none  of  the  acts 
imputed  to  Fouquier.  He  had  always  recognised  him  to  be 
"  of  a  naturally  violent  character,  which  rendered  him,  so 
to  speak,  unapproachable."  Several  times  he  had  seen 
him  stamping  his  feet  and  showing  all  the  signs  of  anger 
in  regard  to  a  case  which  he  thought  to  be  of  importance, 
because  an  accused  person  had  been  acquitted.  He  heard  him 
complaining  of  the  verdicts  of  certain  jurors  and  saying  that 

1  Three  or  four  days  before  the  great  hatches  from  the  Luxem- 
bourg. 

'  W.  501,  2nd  dossier,  p.  43. 


WHOLESALE    CONDEMNATIONS  187 

they  would  not  delay  ridding  themselves  of  them.  Fouquier 
always  took  "  the  precaution  of  choosing  the  moment  when 
there  were  capital  executions  in  the  Place  de  la  Revolution 
to  have  exposed  there  to  the  gaze  of  the  people  those  who 
were  condemned  to  chains  or  to  imprisonment  so  as  to  make 
them  enjoy  the  disgusting  spectacle  of  the  executions." 

Jean  Robert  Deschamps,  aged  26^^,  registrar  of  Bicetre, 
knew  that  Fouquier  came  to  Bicetre  with  Lanne,  Herman's 
assistant.  They  sent  for  Valagnos  and  seven  of  his  room- 
mates, put  them  in  a  row,  and  made  the  prisoners  who  were 
condemned  to  chains  and  the  others  pass  before  them  in  order 
that  Valagnos  might  point  out  those  who  were  guilty  of  con- 
spiracy. As  he  pointed  them  out,  Fouquier  asked  them 
their  names.  On  that  day,  the  Pubhc  Prosecutor  made 
out  a  warrant  against  thirty-seven  individuals  whom  he 
immediately  brought  before  the  Tribunal.  They  were 
tried  and  condemned  the  next  day.  On  the  7th  of  Messidor 
Fouquier  came  again  to  Bicetre.  "  He  made  a  further 
choice  of  thirty-seven  individuals  in  the  same  manner." 
He  issued  a  warrant  against  these  thirty-seven,  then  a 
special  warrant  against  Osselin,  whom  he  caused  to  be  taken 
away.  They  were  condemned  the  next  day.  Bicetre  was, 
moreover,  perfectly  tranquil.  Deschamps  never  perceived 
"  the  least  germ  of  a  conspiracy  there." 

Citizeness  Banville,  aged  41,  the  divorced  wife  of  Bourdon, 
a  gold-beater,  deposed  that  on  the  day  of  Hebert's  execution, 
she  went  out  of  curiosity  to  see  him  pass.  In  the  Rue  du 
Roule  ^  she  was  invited  to  go  into  a  house  whose  owner  she 
did  not  know.  She  there  found  Fouquier,  whom  she  saw 
for  the  first  time.  When  the  condemned  persons  passed, 
Fouquier  wanted  to  go  to  the  window  to  see  them.  It 
was  pointed  out  to  him  that  he  ought  not  to  show  himself, 
that  the  condemned  persons  should  not  be  insulted.  He 
immediately  withdrew. 2 

Louis   Francis  Debusne,   aged  48,   a  lieutenant   of   the 

»  This  street  began  at  the  Rue  des  Fosses-Saint-Germain-rAuxer- 
rois  and  ended  at  the  Rue  Saint-Honore. 
*  W.  501,  2nd  dossier,  pp.  57  and  44. 


i88  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

national  police  serving  at  the  Tribunals,  residing  at  360 
Cul-de-Sac  de  la  Fosse  aux  Chiens,  Rue  des  Bourdonnais, 
noticed  one  day  when  he  was  on  duty  at  a  session  of  the 
Tribunal  and  when  thirty  prisoners  were  tried,  that 
"  Fouquier  showed  much  ill-humour  and  impatience " 
because  they  had  all  been  condemned. 

On  the  1 8th  of  Messidor,  when  those  charged  with  the 
Luxembourg  conspiracy  were  transferred,  Debusne  was 
in  command  of  the  detachment.  When  he  reached  the 
comer  of  the  Rue  de  Harlay,  Fouquier  came  and  said  to 
him  that  he  had  succeeded  in  having  only  half  of  them 
placed  on  trial ;  that  their  names  would  be  taken  there, 
and  that  they  were  to  alight  at  the  Conciergerie,  and  he  told 
him  to  prevent  them  from  communicating  with  one  another. 

Leonard  Petit-Tressein,  aged  36,  a  juror  of  the  Tribunal, 
residing  at  No.  360  Rue  Nicaise,  on  the  morning  of  i8th  of 
Messidor,  before  the  trial,  heard  Fouquier  asking  Cofhnhal 
in  the  Council  Chamber  if  he  wished  to  act  as  President 
at  the  hearing  next  day,  "  seeing  that  it  was  an  important 
a-ffair."  Cofhnhal  asked  what  affair  it  was.  Fouquier 
explained  that  "  it  was  half  of  those  from  the  Luxembourg, 
to  the  number  of  seventy  or  eighty." 

Jean  Frangois  Esprit  Canaple,  aged  26,  residing  at  Paris, 
in  the  Rue  Neuve  Denis,  a  seller  of  walking-sticks,  on  the 
19th  of  Messidor,  the  day  on  which  the  trial  of  "  the  Luxem- 
bourg conspirators  "  began,  saw  and  heard  Fouquier,  at 
the  window  of  the  refreshment-room  of  the  Palace,  shouting 
to  the  guardians  immediately  to  place  in  a  cell  two  prisoners 
who  had  shown  "  feehng  "  towards  the  condemned.  These 
two  prisoners  were  condemned  two  days  later  "  for  the  same 
conspiracy."^ 

Germain  Andre  Goureau,  aged  36,  an  ofhcial  defender,  of 
No.  7  Faubourg  Poissonniere,  gave  details  of  what  he 
knew  about  the  conspiracy  in  the  prisons.  He  was  im- 
prisoned at  the  Plessis.  He  sought  "  to  discover  the 
creatures  whom  Fouquier  employed  with  the  object  of 
multiplying  the  number  of  victims." 

^W.  501,  2nd  dossier,  p.  84. 


"A    STERN,    UNAPPROACHABLE    MAN"      189 

Jean  Baptiste  Darmaing,  aged  23,  secretary  of  the 
Convention,  gave  proofs,  in  his  deposition,  of  the  manner 
in  which  Fouquier  allowed  himself  to  be  influenced  by 
Vadier,  who  had  sworn  to  ruin  the  Darmaings,  his  com- 
patriots of  the  Ariege.  When  giving  testimony  to  these 
facts,  the  witness  declared  that  Fouquier  had  sought  to 
debase  the  National  Convention,  and  to  perpetuate  the  reign 
of  tyranny,  and  that  he  had  conspired  against  Liberty  and 
the  Rights  of  Man. 

The  five  Sansons — Pierre  Charles,  aged  40,  a  sub-lieutenant 
of  artillery  in  the  Parisian  army  ;  Charles  Henri,  aged  55  ; 
Nicolas  Charles  Gabriel,  aged  73  ;  his  son,  aged  49  ;  and 
Henri  Sanson,  aged  27,  a  captain  of  artillery — had  nothing 
to  state  in  regard  to  Fouquier-Tinville.  Sanson's  assistant, 
Pierre  Francois  Etienne  Desmorest,  who,  as  public  execu- 
tioner, resided  at  No.  11  Faubourg  Saint-Denis,  declared 
that  "  every  morning,  before  judgment  was  pronounced, 
Fouquier  gave  him  verbal  orders  to  set  up  the  guillotine 
at  a  certain  time,  and  to  have  ready  the  number  of  convey- 
ances he  directed,  and,  in  order  to  avoid  irritating  the 
pubhc,  he  recommended  him  to  keep  them  in  different  places 
but  adjoining  one  another. "^ 

Antoine  Sezille,  an  official  defender,  aged  51,  residing 
in  the  Enclos  de  la  Raison,  Section  de  la  Cite,  had  known 
Fouquier  only  during  the  year  that  he  had  frequented 
the  Revolutionary  Tribunal.  He  regarded  him  as  "  a  stern, 
violent,  almost  unapproachable  man."  Having  to  defend 
Citizen  Thomassin,  a  priest  imprisoned  in  the  Conciergerie, 
Sezille  went  to  the  prosecutor's  office  and  asked  Fouquier 
for  the  documents  relating  to  the  affair.  Fouquier  became 
angry  and  refused  to  hand  them  over.  Some  days  later 
Sezille  defended  Thomassin,  without  documents  and  without 
a  memorandum,  "  after  having  only  had  an  interview  for  a 
quarter  of  an  hour  with  him  in  the  prisoners'  room." 
Thomassin  was  acquitted.  In  the  course  of  the  preceding 
month  of  Floreal,  Sezille  was  charged  with  the  defence  of 
Freteau,  the  ex-member  of  the  Constituent  Assembly  who 
*  W.  501,  2nd  dossier,  pp.  63  and  58. 


igo  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

was  acquitted,  but  was  to  be  kept  in  prison  as  a  suspect 
until  the  general  peace.  For  eight  days  the  advocate 
begged  Fouquier  to  deliver  to  him  a  copy  of  Freteau's 
sentence  of  acquittal,  without  being  able  to  obtain  it. 
Fouquier  refused  to  send  the  documents  to  the  registry. 
At  each  ineffectual  step  taken  by  the  advocate,  Fouquier 
would  answer  harshly  :  "  You  think  you  have  got  your 
Fr6teau,  but  you  shall  not  have  him."  As  a  matter  of  fact, 
some  days  after  the  law  of  the  22nd  of  Prairial,  which  sup- 
pressed the  defenders,  Freteau  was  again  placed  on  trial. 
' '  Thus  in  his  case  the  maxim  non  bis  in  idem  was  violated 
by  sending  him  again  to  trial  for  a  crime  of  which  he  had 
been  acquitted."     He  suffered  the  punishment  of  death. ^ 

Francois  Marie  Paris,  aged  28,  a  lawyer,  residing  at  37 
Rue  Grenata,  gave  evidence  as  follows  :  "A  prisoner  in 
the  Luxembourg  since  the  29th  of  Brumaire  of  the  year  IT, 
I  was  to  have  been  numbered  among  the  victims  of  the 
Terror,  for,  on  the  loth  of  Thermidor,  four  prisoners  from 
my  Section  and  myself  were  transferred  from  the  Luxem- 
bourg to  the  Conciergerie.  The  municipality  of  Paris  was 
in  its  entirety  guillotined  on  that  day  and  we  were  saved. 
During  the  twenty  days  I  still  remained  at  the  Conciergerie, 
I  met  Fouquier-  there.  I  spoke  to  him  in  these  terms  : 
'  You  know  me.  You  know  who  I  am.  You  are  not  ignor- 
ant that  my  principles  have  always  been  for  the  Revolu- 
tion.' Fouquier  answered  me :  '  What  would  you,  my 
friend  ?  The  order  was  precise.  Sent  forward,  as  you  were, 
by  a  popular  commission  to  the  Committees  of  Public  Safety 
and  of  General  Security,  and  those  two  Committees  having 
sent  you  on  to  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal  with  injunctions 
to  the  Public  Prosecutor  to  place  you  on  trial,  I  had  not 
the  power  to  determine  your  freedom.' 

"  At  that  moment  I  regarded  Fouquier  rather  as  the  kindly 
executant  of  barbarous  and  sanguinary  orders  that  were 
given  him  rather  than  as  a  genuine  Public  Prosecutor. 
I  ceased  to  speak  to  him.     However,  since  I  left  prison, 

^  W.  501,  2nd  dossier,  p.  53. 

'  Imprisoned,  as  we  have  seen,  on  the  14th  erf  Thermidor. 


AN    IMPORTANT    WITNESS  191 

I  have  learned  that  he  had  in  no  way  deceived  me,  that 
in  very  reaUty  I  was  to  be  one  of  his  victims,  for  on  the  side 
of  the  papers  relating  to  me,  he  had  written  in  large  letters, 
'  Ready  for  delivery.'  "^ 

Finally,  on  the  12th  of  Brumaire,  at  noon,  an  important 
witness  appeared  before  Judge  Forestier.  This  was  Pierre 
Noel  Subleyras,  an  ex-registrar  of  the  Tribunal  of  the  District 
of  Uzes,  who,  during  the  Terror,  had  become  President 
of  the  Popular  Commission  of  the  Museum  (the  Louvre). 
The  sinister  reputation  of  the  Popular  Commissions  of  Paris 
is  well  known,  that  of  having  been  commissioned  "  to  empty 
the  prisons."  Subleyras  had  formerly  performed  for  a  time 
the  functions  of  judge  of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal, 
functions  to  which  he  had  been  appointed  on  September 
26th,  1793.2 

Subleyras  declared  that  "about  the  middle  of  the  preceding 
decade,  Fouquier-Tinville's  wife  brought  him  a  letter  from 
her  husband,^  in  which  he  asked  him  to  give  him  collated 

*  W.   501,   2nd   dossier,   p.   60. 

*  It  was  he  who  at  the  trial  of  Hebert,  Ronsin,  and  others,  col- 
lected notes  along  with  Naulin  and  Coffinhal,  judges  like  himself, 
during  the  proceedings.  Everj^  evening  these  three  men  met  to 
collect  these  notes  and  to  make  them  into  a  work  which  it  was  intended 
to  print,  a  fantastic  work  which  suppressed  the  proofs  against 
Pache  and  Hanriot  in  order  to  place  them  to  Danton's  account,  but  so 
clumsily  that  it  is  impossible  not  to  recognise  Pache  in  the  matter. 

»  This  is  Fouquier's  letter  : — 

"  To  Citizen  Subleyras,  President  of  the  Popular  Commission 
established  at  the  former  Louvre. 

(In  Subleyras's  hand — "  Ne  varietur  the  13th  of  Brumaire  of  the 
year  III.  of  the  Republic  one  and  indivisible.     Subleyras.") 

"  I  need,  citizen,  a  copy  certified  by  the  Commission  of  the  different 
letters  that  I  have  written  relative  to  the  persons  who  were  to  be 
placed  on  trial,  either  those  who  were  sent  forward  (for  that  purpose) 
or  those  who  were  found  to  be  implicated  in  conspiracies  in  the  prisons  ; 
I  particularly  need  the  letter  written  by  me  on  the  night  between  the 
1 8th  and  the  19th  of  Messidor  :  these  letters  are  indispensable  to  me 
to  repel  the  attacks  of  my  enemies  in  that  direction  ;  I  hope,  citizen, 
that  you  will  hasten  to  procure  this  deliverance  for  my  wife,  who,  for 
this  purpose,  will  send  you  this  present.  Trenchard  groans  in  the  same 
prison. 

"  Greeting  and  fraternity,  ^    q    Fouquier. 

"  This  ist  of  Brumaire  of  the  year  III.  of  the  Republic  one  and 
indivisible.     Pelagic."     (W.  500,  2nd  dossier,  p.  32.) 


192  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

copies  of  the  letters  written  by  him  (Fouquier)  to  the  former 
Popular  Commissions,  and  relating  to  the  accused  persons 
whom  he  had  to  place  on  trial. 

When  he  was  Public  Prosecutor,  Fouquier  had  sent  to 
the  Commission  of  the  Museum  some  lists  of  "  individuals  " 
whom  he  was  to  place  on  trial  for  the  conspiracy  in  the 
prisons.  He  invited  the  Commission  to  send  him  any 
documents  and  information  it  had  respecting  them.  On 
this  invitation,  Subleyras  affirmed,  the  Commission  sent  to 
Fouquier  the  documents  it  had  and  the  reports  that  had  been 
made  out  in  the  Paris  Sections  concerning  some  of  the 
prisoners  on  the  lists.  Those  documents  remained  at  the 
Tribunal.  This  was  all,  according  to  Subleyras's  account, 
that  the  Popular  Commission  knew  of  the  conspiracy  of  the 
prisons  ! 

He  added  that,  on  the  7th  of  Thermidor,  two  days  before 
Robespierre's  fall,  Fouquier  had  told  the  Commission  that 
some  of  those  reports  had  reached  him,  and  that  he  had 
asked  it  for  such  documents  as  it  might  have.^ 

Madame  Fouquier-Tinville  continued  to  take  measure 
after  measure,  step  after  step,  in  the  interests  of  her  hus- 
band's defence.  Three  times,  during  the  first  ten  days  of 
this  month  of  Brumaire,  she  went  to  Subleyras.  Not  being 
able  to  see  him,  she  had  written  the  following  letter  : — 

"  This  8th  of  Brumaire,  year  IH.  of  the  Republic. 

No.  242  Rue  de  la  Harpe. 
"  I  pray  you,  citizen,  to  be  good  enough  to  give  me  an 
ansvv'er  relating  to  what  I  have  asked  you  for  my  husband, 
the  copy  of  those  letters  which  are  indispensable  to  him  in 
the  present  circumstances  ;  for  three  days  in  succession  I 
have  gone  to  your  house  without  being  able  to  see  you.  As 
I  am  a  long  distance  off,  I  pray  you  to  let  me  know  if  you 
have  found  these  papers,  and  if  you  can  give  me  a  copy  of 
them  ;   you  will  oblige  your  fellow-citizen. 

"  Fouquier's  Wife."  * 

(To  Citizen   Subleyras,  No.  108   Rue  des  Petits-Champs.) 
1  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  144.  -  W.  500,  2nd  dossier,  p.  31. 


INDISPENSABLE    DOCUMENTS  193 

It  is  easy  to  understand  the  importance  which  Fouquier 
attached  to  the  possession  of  those  copies.  They  were 
indispensable  to  him.  In  his  defence  he  had  to  prove  that 
he  had  acted  only  in  virtue  of  the  orders  of  the  Committee 
of  Public  Safety.  The  Committee  had  sent  him  a  list  of 
names,  telling  him  that  these  prisoners  had  conspired  in 
the  Luxembourg  house  of  detention.  The  Committee  had 
sent  him  a  resolution  of  the  17th  of  Messidor,  ordering  him 
to  bring  to  trial  within  twenty-four  hours  all  those  charged 
with  conspiracy  in  the  prisons.  According  to  the  expression 
he  used  in  the  course  of  his  examination  on  the  ist  of 
Frimaire,  "when  the  Law  speaks,  the  pubHc  official  must  act." 
He  could  not  therefore  avoid  (it  is  still  his  own  argument 
that  we  reproduce)  prosecuting  and  bringing  to  trial  all  the 
individuals  named  on  that  list.  He  had  not  desired  to  know 
either  how  that  list  and  others  were  sent  to  the  Committee, 
or  by  whom  they  were  made  out.  He  had  received  no 
revelation  in  regard  to  this  ;  he  had  only  "  performed  the 
imperious  duty  prescribed  by  the  Law."  Then  he  wrote 
to  the  Popular  Commission  of  the  Museum  to  ask  it  for  the 
documents  which  it  might  have  for  the  prosecution  or  for 
the  defence.  The  Committee  of  Public  Safety  having 
decided,  on  the  i8th  of  Messidor,  that  the  158  persons 
suspected  of  conspiracy  in  the  Luxembourg  should  be  tried 
in  three  sections,  on  the  same  evening,  when  he  returned 
home,  he  immediately  informed  the  Popular  Commission, 
It  was  this  letter  and  some  others  sent  by  him  to  Subleyras 
that  he  needed  to  clear  himself.  They  would  testify  in  his 
favour,  would  estabhsh  that  he  was  only  an  agent  of  the 
Committees,  and  prove  that  he  only  carried  out  their  orders 
strictly. 

But  this  written  evidence  of  his  obedience  which  he 
claimed,  and  which  no  one  would  dream  of  refusing 
him,  would  also  prove  that,  a  servile  magistrate,  entirely 
subject,  through  fear  or  interest,  to  the  Committees,  he  had 
been  the  diligent  workman  of  a  work  of  blood.  The  principal 
artisans  in  that  work  perished  on  the  scaffold  on  the  loth  of 
Thermidor.     Those    who    remained    were    denounced    and 

N 


194  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

hunted  down.  It  was  the  zealous,  hidefatigable  official  of 
the  Terror  that  the  Themidorian  purification  aimed  at  and 
pursued  in  his  person. 

As  Pubhc  Prosecutor  Leblois  said  in  his  speech  against 
Fouquier  :  "  Invested  for  nearly  eighteen  months  with  the 
painful  obligation  of  searching  out  and  prosecuting  crime, 
but  honoured  during  the  same  period  also  with  the  holy 
and  consoling  mission  of  supporting  innocence,  of  defending 
it,  and  of  protecting  it,  it  might  be  said  that  Fouquier- 
Tinville  made  it  his  sport  to  overthrow  these  two  objects 
and  to  take  them  in  an  inverse  sense." 


CHAPTER    IX 

FOUQUIER-TINVILLE  AFFIRMS  HIS  INNOCENCE  AND  HIS 
HUMANITY.  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  LEBLOIS  ARGUES 
AGAINST  HIM. 

THE  days  passed.  Fouquier  was  waiting  to  be  exam- 
ined. On  the  9th  of  Brumaire  he  was  transferred 
from  Sainte-Pelagie  to  the  Plessis-Egahte,  to 
that  house  of  detention  which  the  Parisians,  at  the 
time  he  was  Pubhc  Prosecutor,  had  named  "  Fouquier's 
storehouse."  "  The  horror  that  he  inspired  was  such  that 
the  prisoners  nearly  killed  him.  The  janitor  confined  him  to 
his  room.  He  wanted  one  day  to  open  his  window  to 
take  the  air  ;  horrible  imprecations  forced  him  to  shut  it 
immediately."  ^ 

He  lived  then  apart,  walled  in,  enclosed,  alone  with  his 
thoughts,  thoughts  that  absolved  him.  His  heart  was  free 
from  crime.  It  was  in  his  opinion  the  heart  of  a  good  citizen. 
But  hatred  pursued  him  without  an  intermission.  He  was 
a  victim  of  that  feeling  of  duty  which  led  him  to  per- 
form pubhc  functions  "  with  diligence  and  vigour."  He 
did  not  ask  himself  whether  the  lives  of  all  those  men  and 
women  whom  he  had  sent  to  execution  were  worth  nothing. 
In  his  eyes  they  were  the  enemies  of  the  Republic  and 
traitors.  They  were  conspiring  against  liberty  and  virtue. 
As  Public  Prosecutor  his  duty  was  towards  the  Revolution 
and  its  heads.     He  had  fulfilled  the  law. 

Finally,  on  the  ist  of  Frimaire  in  the  year  III.  (November 
21,  1794),  he  was  taken  from  the  Plessis  house  of  detention 
to  the  Tribunal  and  examined  by  Judge  Forestier,  assisted 

'  Campardon  :  Le  Tvibunal  Revolutionnaire  de  Pans,  II.,  p.  138. 
Details  furnished  by  the  journal  entitled  La  Vedette. 

195 


196  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

by  Raymond  Josse,  his  registrar,  and  Jean  Jacques  Granger, 
his  deputy.     Here  is  his  examination  : 

The  Judge  :  "  Did  you  not,  while  you  held  your  office,  and 
especially  in  the  last  months  of  it,  give  orders  every  morning 
to  the  pubhc  executioner  to  set  up  the  guillotine,  and  to  pre- 
pare a  more  or  less  considerable  number  of  conveyances  ? 

A. — "  As  regards  the  guillotine,  there  was  for  a  time 
a  question  of  leaving  it  up  permanently.  Afterwards, 
because  the  materials  were  kept  in  the  Rue  du  Pont-aux- 
Choux  and  as  it  took  five  hours  and  more  to  erect,  it  has 
happened  two  or  three  times  that  the  order  to  set  it  up  was 
given,  but  only  to  execute  the  persons  condemned  on  the 
previous  day  in  accordance  with  the  sentence  of  the 
court.  In  order  to  avoid  the  unpleasantness  of  seeing 
those  materials  transported  from  the  Pont-aux-Choux, 
the  Department  was  asked  for  premises  in  which  to 
place  the  materials  and  the  wood.  Those  premises 
were  granted  near  the  Place  de  la  Revolution.  At  no 
time  was  an  order  given  by  me  to  set  up  the  guillotine, 
except  for  the  purpose  of  executing  sentences  that  had  been 
passed.  As  regards  the  other  part  of  the  question,  having 
seen  the  scandal  (I  mean  this  fact  had  been  reported  to 
me)  of  allowing  as  many  as  twelve  or  fourteen  condemned 
persons  to  be  piled  up  on  the  same  cart,  and  the  Com- 
mittee of  Public  Safety  having  blamed  me  for  it,  notifying  to 
me  its  desire  that  each  cart  should  contain  only  seven 
individuals,  next  day  I  summoned  the  public  executioner 
and  notified  to  him  the  order  to  place  only  seven  individuals 
at  most  in  the  same  cart,  and  to  arrange  in  such  a  way  that 
the  executions  should  never  be  postponed  until  the  following 
day.  When  the  executioner  remarked  that  it  was  often 
very  difficult  to  find  carts  in  sufficient  number  for  the  same 
day  (for  he  only  received  the  order  at  about  half -past  three) , 
and  also  on  account  of  the  known  scarcity  of  horses,  I 
advised  him  to  have  some  always  ready,  preferring  and 
desiring  that  they  should  be  useless  rather  than  that  con- 
demned persons  should  be  crowded  on  a  single  cart  as 
had  happened  before. 


THE    GUILLOTINE 


THE    CHOICE    OF    JURORS  197 

"  In  spite  of  my  advice  in  this  respect,  it  sometimes 
happened  that  condemned  persons  in  excess  of  the  number 
seven  were  placed  in  the  carts.  But  in  all  this  I  only  acted 
from  a  motive  of  humanit}^  and  to  alleviate  the  sufferings  of 
the  condemned  persons  in  so  far  as  it  lay  in  my  power. 
I  have  never  known  and  could  not  know  whether  any  of 
the  persons  placed  on  trial  would  be  condemned,  nor  what 
their  number  would  be.  The  proof  is  that  very  frequently 
the  carts  were  useless." 

Q. — "  Who  raised  the  question  of  leaving  the  guillotine 
up  permanently  ?  " 

A. — "  It  was  discussed  at  the  Committee  of  Pubhc 
Safety." 

Q. — "  Have  you  always  conformed  to  the  exact  selection  of 
the  jurors  who  were  to  sit  in  any  given  case  ?  Did  you  not 
intend  to  exclude  some  who  might  be  more  humane  ?  Have 
you  not,  on  the  contrary,  made  choice  of  those  whose  char- 
acter appeared  to  you  fitter  for  doing  what  was  called  firing 
an  uninterrupted  volley  ? 

A. — "  I  never  made  any  choice  of  jurors  through  preference 
in  any  given  case ;  if  I  have  made  a  choice  of  them,  it  was 
not  purposely  or  consciously  ;  I  have  never  known  any 
of  the  jurors  very  intimately.  I  point  out  that  the  ushers 
sometimes  made  mistakes  in  summoning  the  jurors  ;  but  I 
never  believed  that  those  mistakes  were  the  fruit  of  crime, 
but  rather  that  of  error.  I  have  never  made  use  of  the 
expression  '  firing  an  uninterrupted  volley  '  ;  I  have  never 
known  anything  but  the  execution  of  the  laws.  Since  the 
terrible  law  of  the  22nd  of  Prairial,  the  reformation  of  which 
I  have  perpetually  but  vainly  solicited  from  the  Committees 
of  Public  Safety  and  of  General  Security,  every  time  I  have 
sat  I  have  never  made  a  single  opening  or  closing  speech 
calculated  to  influence  the  opinion  of  the  jurors  in  any  way 
against  accused  persons  who  were  already  so  unfortunate 
as  to  be  deprived  of  defenders.  I  may  even  add  that  I  have 
never  forgotten  to  point  out  to  the  jurors  and  to  outline  the 
documentary  evidence  for  the  defence  provided  by  the 
accused  persons  as  well  as  that  for  the  prosecution." 


igS  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

Q. — "  Have  you  not  held  conferences  about  the  com- 
position of  the  juries  with  various  persons  who  came  either 
to  the  hearings  or  to  the  prosecutor's  office  or  to  your  own 
room  ?  Have  not  those  persons  influenced  you  ?  Have 
you  not  combined  with  them  beforehand  to  secure  the 
acquittal  or  the  conviction  of  certain  persons  ?  " 

A. — "  I  have  never  done  anything  so  monstrous.  Nobody 
has  ever  presumed  to  make  proposals  of  such  a  nature  to  me. 
I  should  have  treated  as  they  deserved  any  persons  what- 
soever who  would  have  done  so.  I  point  out  that  when  the 
Committee  of  PubUc  Safety  proposed  to  me,  and  even  pressed 
me  to  have  General  Kellermann  and  other  individuals  tried. 
I  always  refused,  and  for  this  reason  alone,  that  the  order 
was  given  me  without  the  attendance  of  certain  witnesses 
whom  I  regarded  as  indispensable." 

Q. — "  Who  are  the  members  of  the  Committee  of  Public 
Safety  who  gave  you  such  orders  ?  " 

A, — "  Robespierre  and  Couthon  summoned  me  to  the 
Committee  and  in  the  name  of  the  Committee  for  that 
purpose  in  the  early  days  of  Messidor,  some  time  before 
Robespierre  ceased  going  to  the  Committee.  Immediately 
Couthon  had  been  carried^  to  the  bottom  of  the  staircase, 
he  caused  me  to  be  summoned  to  the  Committee  of  Public 
Safety  where  he  had  remained  for  something  else,  and 
said  to  me  :  '  Above  all.  do  not  fail  to  have  Kellermann 
tried  before  Dubois  de  Crance's  arrival.'  This  injunction, 
joined  with  the  quarrel  that  had  taken  place  between  Cou- 
thon and  Dubois  de  Crance,  was  sufficient  to  convince  me 
that  Couthon  bore  ill-will  to  Kellermann  as  well  as  to 
Dubois  de  Crance.  It  was  at  two  o'clock  in  the  afternoon 
that  I  was  summoned  to  the  Committee,  as  Couthon  never 
went  there  after  dinner." 

Q. — "  Have  you  not  had  intimate  relations  or  a  special 
understanding  with  Robespierre,  Saint- Just,  Lebas,  Dumas, 
Coffinhal,  Fleuriot,  and  other  conspirators,  the  enemies 
of  the  people  and  of  liberty  ?  Have  you  not  known, 
shared,  and  supported  their  counter-revolutionary  opinions 
1  Couthon  was  paralysed. — Tr. 


THE    CAPTURE   OF    COFFINHAL  199 

and     arrangements  ?       Were     you     not    associated    with 
them  ?  " 

A. — "  I  could  hmit  myself  to  remarking  that  it  was  I,  in 
my  capacity  of  Public  Prosecutor,  who  on  the  loth  of 
Thermidor,  demanded  that  the  law  should  be  enforced 
against  all  those  afore-mentioned  conspirators,  who  were 
outlawed  by  a  decree  of  the  Convention,  with  the  exception 
of  Coffinhal,  who  was  only  captured  on  the  i8th,^  an  enforce- 
ment of  the  law  that  I  certainly  would  never  have  demanded 
if  I  had  been  initiated  into  or  engaged  in  any  way  in  the 
counter-revolutionary  projects  of  the  various  conspirators. 
But  I  believe  I  ought  to  give  a  little  fuller  scope  to  my  answer. 

»  On  the  night  between  the  gth  and  loth  of  Thermidor,  Coffinhal, 
seeing  the  Commune  conquered  and  Robespierre  and  his  friends  in  the 
hands  of  the  Conventionals,  hurled  himself  on  Hanriot,  whose  drunk- 
enness had  ruined  everything,  and  flung  him  out  of  one  of  the  win- 
dows of  the  Hotel  de  Ville  on  to  a  dung-heap.  Then  he  disappeared 
into  the  night.     He  was  vainly  sought  for  during  several  days. 

He  had  fled  towards  the  Seine,  and,  disguised  as  a  boatman,  had 
gone  down  with  the  stream  to  the  He  des  Cygnes,  where  he  had  hidden 
himself.  He  remained  there  two  days  and  two  nights,  staying  his 
hunger  with  the  bark  of  trees,  and  drenched  by  the  torrential  rain 
that  fell  continuously. 

At  last,  being  able  to  hold  out  no  longer,  the  outlaw  left  the  island 
and  went  to  a  friend  to  whom  he  had  rendered  some  services.  He 
asked  him  for  food,  clothes,  and  money.  This  man  brought  him 
into  his  house,  and  then,  locking  the  door,  went  to  inform  against 
him. 

Coffinhal  was  arrested  on  the  night  between  the  17th  and  i8th  of 
Thermidor  and  taken  to  the  Conciergerie.  "  No  tiling  can  paint 
the  tortures  I  have  endured,"  he  said  to  the  turnkey.  "  The  death 
that  is  preparing  for  me  is  a  benefit  and  a  kindness  compared  with 
what  I  have  suffered." 

As  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal  no  longer  existed,  a  decree  of 
the  Convention  decided  that  the  Criminal  Tribunal  should  verify 
the  outlaw's  identity  and  send  him  to  execution.  It  was  on  the 
1 8th  of  Thermidor  that  he  appeared  before  Oudart.  Four  witnesses 
identified  him.  Public  Prosecutor  Leblois  demanded  the  applica- 
tion of  the  law.  Coffinhal  was  then  led  to  the  Place  de  la  Revolution, 
in  a  heavy  rain,  in  the  midst  of  hooting.  The  people  crowded  against 
the  cart,  and  tried  to  stab  or  strike  him  with  their  umbrellas,  saying, 
"  Well,  Coffinhal,  guard  against  that  thrust,  if  you  can  !  "  This  was 
an  allusion  to  a  saying  of  the  ex- Vice-President  of  the  Revolutionary 
Tribunal  to  a  fencing-master  who  had  just  been  condemned  to  death. 
"  Well,  old  fellow,  guard  against  that  thrust  if  you  can." 

Coffinhal  died  courageously. 


200  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

In  consequence,  I  declare  that  I  have  never  had  any  intimate 
connection  with  the  Robespierres,  Saint- Just,  Couthon, 
and  Lebas,  that  I  have  never  seen  them  except  at  the  Com- 
mittees of  Pubhc  Safety  and  of  General  Security,  and  then 
as  members  of  those  Committees  ;  that  I  have  never  been 
to  the  houses  of  any  of  them,  except  once  to  that  of  the  elder 
Robespierre,  on  the  day  of  the  attempt  on  Collot  d'Herbois, 
just  as  I  had  been  to  that  of  Collot  whom  I  did  not  find  at 
home  ;  the  despotic  tone  with  which  Robespierre  received 
me  would  have  estranged  me  for  ever,  even  if  I  had  been 
anxious  to  go  there  ;  never  have  I  been  in  any  of  the  houses 
to  which  I  have  learned  since  my  arrest  that  the  conspirators 
repaired.  I  have  never  had  any  private  correspondence 
with  them.  As  for  Dumas,  I  only  knew  him  as  President ; 
moreover,  Dumas  was  notoriously  known  to  be  my  enemy, 
so  much  so  that  he  tried  at  different  times  to  have  me 
replaced. 

"  As  for  Fleuriot  and  Coffinhal,  I  knew  them  only  sub- 
sequent to  their,  becoming  members  of  the  Tribunal.  I  have 
sometimes  had  meals  with  them,  as  is  customary  among 
members  of  the  same  tribunal.  But  I  never  perceived 
that  they  were  engaged  in  a  conspiracy.  They  never  made 
any  overtures  to  me  in  this  respect.  Finally,  I  had  no 
knowledge  of  this  conspiracy,  except  on  the  9th  of  Thermidor 
in  common  with  all  other  citizens.  The  proof  of  my  denial 
follows  from  my  conduct  on  the  evening  of  the  9th  of  Thermi- 
dor. I  remained  at  my  post  up  to  the  moment  when  I 
went  to  the  assembled  Committees  of  Public  Safety  and  of 
General  Security.  It  is  notorious  that  I  did  not  go  to  the 
rebel  Commune,  in  spite  of  the  repeated  invitations  of  emis- 
saries who  were  sent  to  me  for  that  purpose.  It  also 
follows  from  the  declarations  made  by  Coffinhal,  in  the 
presence  of  several  gendarmes,  that  I  counted  for  nothing 
in  this  conspiracy ;  that  Coffinhal,  and  Dumas,  were 
the  only  members  of  the  Tribunal  who  were  initiated  into 
it.  This  declaration  has  been  drawn  up  in  the  form  of  a 
report  by  the  officers  of  gendarmerie  who  despatched  it  to 
Deputy  Freron." 


THE   EXECUTION   OF   THE   TRIUMVIRATE    201 

Q. — "  Who  were  the  emissaries  and  by  whom  were 
they  sent  ?  " 

A. — "  I  did  not  know  them.  But  they  announced  them- 
selves as  coming  from  the  Commune,  to  which  all  the 
authorities  of  Paris  were  invited  to  repair,  according  to 
what  was  said." 

Q. — "  Have  you  not  shown  that  you  were  affected  by 
the  condemnation  of  those  conspirators,  and  in  particular 
that  of  Fleuriot  ?  Were  you  not  full  of  reproaches  at  the 
fact  that  this  conspirator,  as  it  happened,  was  executed  last 
of  those  who  were  condemned  with  him  ?^  What  were 
the  reasons  for  this  special  interest  that  you  took  in  the  said 
Fleuriot  ?  " 

A. — "  It  was  usual  for  the  ushers  to  give  me  an  account 
of  the  executions  and  to  tell  me  if  any  incident  took  place. 
On  the  day  of  the  execution  of  Robespierre,  Saint-Just, 
Fleuriot,  and  others,  my  usher,  Tavernier,  came  to  tell  me 
that  the  execution  was  over.  I  then  remarked  to  him  : 
'  Of  course,  you  have  taken  the  precaution  of  having  the 
triumvirate  of  Couthon,  Robespierre,  and  Saint- Just 
executed  last  ?  '  On  Tavernier' s  answer  that  the  Mayor  of 
Paris  had  been  executed  last,  I  said  to  him  :  '  You  are  a 
good  fellow  ;  but  you  are  always  doing  something  foolish. 
Did  you  not  feel  that  chiefs  such  as  those  I  have  mentioned 
ought  to  be  executed  last,  and  not  the  Mayor  and  others 
who  were  only  accessories  ?  '  And  I  added :  '  Your 
blunder  will  cause  me  many  reproaches.'  In  fact,  the  public 
thought  it  very  extraordinary  that  those  three  individuals 
were  not  executed  last.  But  it  was  not  out  of  any  interest 
towards  Fleuriot  that  I  made  those  remarks  to  Tavernier." 

Q. — "  Did  you  not,   in  the  exercise  of  your  functions, 

perform  many  harsh  and  arbitrary  acts  ?     Have  you  not 

threatened  those  who  came  to  speak  to  you  on  behalf  of 

various  prisoners,  various  condemned  persons  ?     Have  you 

»  We  have  seen  in  Chapter  V.  that,  on  the  loth  of  Thermidor, 
Fouquier-Tinville,  who  had  pleaded  against  Robespierre,  Couthon, 
Saint-Just,  etc.,  rose  and  left  the  Tribunal  at  the  moment  for  pleading 
against  his  friend,  Lescot-Fleuriot,  Mayor  of  Paris.  It  was  his  deputy, 
Liendon,  who  then  pleaded. 


202  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

been  exact  in  reading  or  laying  due  stress  at  the  hearings 
upon  the  memorials,  documents,  or  evidence  for  the  defence 
that  were  sent  to  you  in  favour  of  those  who  were  placed 
on  trial  ?  Has  it  not  happened  that  you  placed  several 
accused  persons  on  trial  before  you  opened  the  packets 
containing  the  documents  for  the  defence  ?  Have  not 
several  of  those  persons  been  condemned,  and  do  you 
not  think  that  you  are  responsible  for  those  condemna- 
tions ?  " 

A. — "  I  have  never  performed  any  arbitrary  act  either 
out  of  hatred,  or  out  of  resentment,  or  for  any  other  reason. 
I  have  never  used  harshness  towards  anj^body  whatsoever. 
If  my  quick  and  petulant  temper  has  caused  me  to  be  con- 
sidered a  harsh  man  by  anybody,  most  of  the  upright  men 
who  know  me  will  not  fail  to  do  me  the  justice  that  I  was  as 
gentle  as  I  was  humane  towards  those  who  presented  them- 
selves to  me  for  any  reason  whatsoever,  above  all  towards 
the  unfortunate.  I  have  never  used  any  threat  of  the 
class  mentioned  in  the  question.  I  have  always  busied 
myself,  and  I  have  enjoined  the  same  upon  my  secretaries, 
in  joining  together  all  the  documents  relating  to  each 
accused  person.  I  carefully  opened  my  mails  every  day, 
and  even  several  times  a  day.  Every  time  documents 
reached  me  from  the  Committee  of  General  Security  or 
from  other  constituted  authorities,  I  made  haste  to  send 
them  to  my  deputies  who  were  in  Court.  It  is  not  within 
my  knowledge  that  any  documents  for  the  defence  relating 
to  accused  persons  were  not  produced  ;  and  when  accused 
persons  who  were  on  trial  claimed  documents  in  Court, 
they  were  always  searched  for.  Moreover,  as  I  have 
remarked  above,  I  have  always  taken  care  to  hand  over 
to  the  jurors  the  documents  for  the  defence  put  in  either 
by  the  accused  persons  or  by  those  who  interested  me  in 
their  fate,  together  with  a  ticket  indicating  the  names  of 
each  of  the  accused  persons." 

Q. — "  Did  you  not,  in  league  with  the  conspirators  (and 
in  order  to  bring  about  the  deaths  of  those  whom  you  had 
designated  or  who  had  been  indicated  to  you),  resolve  to 


"DUMAS'    FRIGHTFUL    CELERITY"         203 

place  on  trial  a  considerable  number  of  accused  persons  ? 
Did  you  not  cause  them  to  be  tried  with  such  haste  that 
it  became  impossible  for  them  to  be  heard  or  for  there  to  be 
even  sufficient  time  to  ask  them  their  names  and  the  formal 
questions  it  is  usual  to  put  in  such  circumstances  ?  " 

A. — "  I  have  already  remarked  that  I  have  had  no 
connection  or  acquaintance  with  any  conspirator.  I  have 
not  ceased  to  prosecute  conspirators  without  any  regard 
to  person  or  rank,  and  this  is  one  of  the  secret  motives  for 
my  arrest  and  the  persecutions  I  am  experiencing.  This 
question  shows  well  enough  that  it  is  desired  to  make  me 
responsible  for  the  rapidity  with  which  Dumas  exercised 
his  functions.  However,  nobody  can  be  ignorant  that  the 
President,  then  as  well  as  to-day,  was  the  master  to  decide 
whether  the  accused  persons  should  be  accorded  or  refused 
the  right  to  speak.  Further,  I  never  made  any  arrangement 
with  him  as  to  the  prompt  or  slow  manner  of  trying  accused 
persons.  As  often  as  I  sat  (which  was  very  seldom),  I  have 
moderated,  in  so  far  as  it  depended  on  me,  Dumas'  frightful 
celerity,  and  granted  accused  persons  the  right  to  speak. 
In  regard  to  the  number  of  those  accused  persons,  no  law 
then  prescribed  the  maximum  or  minimum  number  that 
were  to  be  placed  on  trial  for  the  different  offences  with 
which  they  were  charged.  Besides,  in  this  respect  I  have 
exactly  followed  the  orders  of  the  Committee  of  Public 
Safety,  which  at  that  period  had  plenary  powers.  It  is 
quite  true  that,  in  my  capacity  as  Public  Prosecutor,  I  have 
placed  on  trial  several  persons  charged  with  different 
offences.  But  that  is  only  on  account  of  the  reproach 
made  against  the  Tribunal  in  a  report  of  the  Committee  of 
Public  Safety  to  the  Convention  on  the  9th  of  Ventose. 
In  a  word,  it  has  never  happened,  whatever  may  have  been 
the  number  of  those  placed  on  trial,  that  they  have  been 
tried  without  being  questioned,  all  of  them,  at  the  hearing. 
This  fact  is  notorious.  But  it  was  not  the  result  of  a  criminal 
arrangement." 

Q. — "  How  could  you,  at  the  same  hearing,  have  included 
on  the  same  hst  and  for  the  same  offence,  fifty,  sixty,  or 


204  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

more  individuals  of  all  ranks  and  conditions,  who  had  never 
either  spoken  to  one  another  or  known  one  another,  and, 
until  then,  had  been  separated  from  one  another  by  great 
distances  ?  " 

A. — "  The  placing  on  trial  of  fifty  or  sixty  individuals 
or  more  has  been  very  rare.     I  believe  even  that  this  has 
not  occurred  in  such  great  numbers  except  for  different 
crimes,  and  that  the  indictments  including  few  or  more 
individuals  characterise  and  specify  each  of  the  offences 
that  were  personal  to  them.     This  fact  is  easy  to  verify 
by  an  inspection  of  the  indictments.     Thus  it  is  of  little 
importance  whether  they  were  from  the  same  place  or 
from  distances  very  remote  from  one  another  and  for  diverse 
offences.     Moreover,    I    have   only   adopted   this   measure 
in  accordance  with  the  orders  and  the  very  pronounced 
wish  of  the  Committees  of  Public  Safety  and  of  General 
Security,  to  whom  I  exactly  delivered  every  evening  the 
list  of  verdicts  passed  by  the  Tribunal,  whether  of  condemna- 
tion  or  acquittal.     In   regard   to  individuals  of  different 
professions,    I    only    determined    to    group    the    unhappy 
prisoners  of  different  professions  after  the  difficulty  arose 
from  the  law  of  the  22nd  of  Prairial,  which  provided  among 
other  things  (Article  18)  that  the  judgments  passed  by  the 
Council  Chamber  could  not  be  executed  without  having 
been  approved  by  the  Committees  of  Public  Safety  and  of 
General   Security.     Important    occupations   rendered    this 
measure  impossible  and  void.    The  motive  which  determined 
the  grouping  was  the  desire  more  effectively  to  bring  about 
the  release  of  a  crowd  of  individuals  who  would  have  remained 
in  prison  if  this  grouping  had  not  been  employed,  and  it  took 
place,  moreover,  only  in  accordance  with  the  orders  of  the 
members  of  the  Committees  of  Public  Safety  and  of  General 
Security.     Those  Committees  have  approved  of  this  measure, 
insomuch  that,  in  a  report  made  to  the  Convention  on  the 
9th    of    Thermidor,    they    note    the    fact    that,    in    spite 
of   the  measures   and  means  employed    by   the   Tribunal 
for   accelerating   the   trials   of   the   conspirators,   the   two 
Committees,  on  the  previous  day,  resolved  on  new  measures 


THE  FUNCTIONS  OF  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  205 

intended  to  bring  to  trial  without  delay  all  conspirators 
throughout  the  Republic. 

"  Finally,  so  far  as  concerns  myself,  I  have  never  desig- 
nated anybody  as  deserving,  by  preference,  to  be  struck 
by  the  sword  of  the  law,  but  I  have  placed  individuals  on 
trial  according  as  the  law  enjoined  me." 

O. — "  Have  you  not  exceeded  the  punishments  pro- 
nounced against  various  accused  persons  ?  Are  you  sure 
that,  out  of  the  great  number  of  persons  tried  or  condemned, 
there  was  such  an  identification  of  their  persons  that  it  is 
impossible  that  condemned  persons  were  set  free,  whilst 
individuals  who  had  not  been  placed  on  trial  and  against 
whom  there  was  no  indictment  were  none  the  less  sent  to 
death  ?  " 

A. — "  Far  from  having  exceeded  any  of  the  condemnations 
pronounced,  I  have,  on  the  contrary,  given  the  most  precise 
orders  to  execute  exactly  and  strictly  the  condemnations 
pronounced  against  them.  In  regard  to  the  rest  of  the 
question,  I  very  rarely  sat  in  Court.  When  I  did  so,  if 
I  was  obliged  to  bring  a  verbal  indictment  against  the 
prisoners  not  included  in  the  written  indictment  and  against 
whom  charges  were  brought  forward  in  the  course  of  the 
proceedings,  I  have  always  demanded,  at  the  end  of  my 
verbal  indictment,  that  an  official  report  of  it  should  be 
drawn  up  by  the  registrar.  The  same  must  have  been  done 
by  my  deputies.  My  functions  were  limited  to  that. 
The  drawing  up  and  signing  concerned  the  President,  the 
judges,  and  the  registrar.  I  cannot  be  responsible  for 
omissions  or  errors  that  may  have  been  made  in  this  respect, 
though  I  do  not  think  they  have  been  made.  As  regards 
the  identity  of  individuals  who  were  condemned,  their 
names  were  exactly  inscribed  on  the  printed  paper  intended 
to  be  sent  to  the  executioner  by  the  registrar  on  duty. 
It  is  not  within  my  knowledge  that  one  person  has  ever  been 
sent  to  death  for  another.  Further,  I  beg  the  Tribunal 
in  its  justice  to  point  out  to  me  an  instance  of  this.  I 
undertake  to  answer  it." 

Q. — "  Have  you  always  faithfully  secured  to  the  accused 


2o6  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

persons  or  to  the  nation  the  return  of  the  sums  of  money 
lodged  with  you  ?  Have  you  taken  care  exactly  out 
of  these  sums  to  provide  for  the  needs  of  those  for  whom 
they  were  intended,  and  who  asked  for  assistance  ?  " 

A. — "  I  have  never  personally  received  or  handled  any 
monies.  These  sums  were  received  in  my  name  by  the 
secretaries  and  clerks  delegated  according  to  the  court 
registrar  for  that  purpose. 

"  Each  object  bore  an  identifying  number.  But  those 
which  I  received  in  my  own  letters,  sent  for  different  prison- 
ers, I  always  sent  Fran9ois  to  the  post  to  cash.  On  my 
orders,  Francois  delivered  them  to  the  registrar  entrusted 
with  that  duty.  This  employee  has,  through  his  negligence, 
given  ground  for  many  complaints,  in  particular  for  not 
having  distributed,  each  week,  the  sums  due  to  the  prisoners. 
I  have  never  retained  any  sum  belonging  to  the  condemned 
or  to  the  prisoners.  The  woman  Richard,  the  janitor 
of  the  Conciergerie,  had  orders  to  deposit  them  in  the  registry 
so  that  the  proof  ought  to  exist  in  a  register.  Towards  the 
end  of  Messidor,  the  treasurer  of  the  Hospice  gave  me  a  bill 
of  exchange  for  four  thousand  and  some  hundreds  of  livres, 
belonging  to  a  man  named  Leborgne,  then  detained  in  the 
said  hospital.  This  Leborgne,  arrested  by  order  of  the 
Committee  of  General  Security,  was  charged  with  very 
grave  counter-revolutionary  offences  ;  I  believed  I  could 
see,  from  an  inspection  of  this  bill,  that  he  might  have 
considerable  deposits  at  Paris.  That  is  why  I  believed 
that  I  ought  to  keep  this  bill  of  exchange,  which  I  placed 
in  my  desk,  in  a  drawer  intended  for  objects  of  this  sort, 
and  with  this  inscription  on  it :  '  This  bill  of  exchange 
belongs  to  Leborgne,  detained  at  the  Hospice.  To  be  attached 
to  the  documents  pertaining  to  the  said  Leborgne  and  veri- 
fied.' This  bill  of  exchange  was  found  in  that  drawer 
(at  the  time  of  the  examination  of  the  said  room  made  by 
the  Deputies  commissioned  by  the  Convention  to  do  so), 
by  one  of  them  whose  name  I  do  not  remember,  but  who  is 
five  feet  two  inches  high,  with  a  dark  face  and  dark  hair. 
This  commissioner  declared,   in   the   presence   of  Citizens 


DEPRIVED   OF   DEFENCE  207 

Dobsen  and  Petit,  that  he  had  held  the  said  bill  of  exchange 
and  had  put  it  back  among  the  papers." 

Q. — "  Have  you  not,  in  a  fashion,  boasted  of  the  great 
number  of  prisoners  whom  you  have  brought  to  trial,  and 
have  you  not  addressed  threats  to  those  who  begged  you  for 
the  justice  which  you  owed  them  and  for  the  pity  to  be 
expected  from  you  on  account  of  their  misfortune  ?  Have 
you  not  prosecuted  and  even  punished  the  sensibility  that 
some  prisoners  showed  at  the  sight  of  the  great  number  of 
those  who  were  going  away  to  be  executed  ?  " 

A. — "  These  statements  are  as  atrocious  as  they  are  new 
to  me.  My  character  for  humanity  assures  me  that  I  shall 
be  avenged  by  posterity  for  such  insults." 

Q. — "  At  the  trial  of  Danton  and  others  did  you  not  pre- 
tend that  you  suspected  a  rebellion  and  a  lack  of  respect 
towards  the  Tribunal  and  at  the  hearing,  in  order  to  derive 
from  this  an  opportunity  to  solicit  a  decree  which  took  from 
them  the  right  to  plead  and  thus  deprived  them  of  the  means 
of  being  heard  and  defending  themselves  ?  Did  you  not 
announce  beforehand  that  you  would  obtain  this  decree  ?  " 

A. — "  The  minute  of  the  letter  written  by  me,  on  the  15th 
of  Germinal,  to  the  Committee  of  Public  Safety,  relative  to 
that  affair  was  found  at  the  time  my  papers  were  examined. 
It  forms  part  of  the  quota  taken  away  by  the  Deputies 
commissioned  to  make  the  search.  This  letter  answers  the 
question  in  a  manner  that  destroys  all  imputations.  As  for 
the  last  part  of  the  question,  I  declare  that,  on  the  contrary, 
I  announced  to  the  accused  that  I  hoped  to  be  able  to  bring 
about  the  appearance  of  the  deputies  they  desired." 

Q. — "  Have  j'ou  not  imagined  projects  of  insurrection  in 
the  prisons  in  order  to  derive  from  this  an  opportunity  for 
placing  on  trial  a  greater  number  of  accused  persons,  and 
precisely  those  whose  deaths  had  been  promised  ?  " 

A. — "  Without  the  law  of  the  23rd  Ventose,  which  expressly 
provides  that  whoever  shall  attempt  to  open  the  prisons  shall 
be  declared  a  traitor  to  the  country  and  punished  as  such,  a 
law  which  imposed  on  me  the  rigorous  duty  of  prosecuting 
and   placing   on   trial   all   individuals   charged   with   these 


2o8  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

offences,  I  should  have  had  a  difficulty  in  believing  in  the  con- 
spiracies on  which  the  Committee  of  Public  Safety  lodged 
informations  with  me.  But  when  the  Law  speaks,  the  public 
official  must  act.  Now  I  state  that  the  Committee  of  Public 
Safety  furnished  me  with  a  list  of  names,  declaring  to  me  that 
these  individuals  had  formed  part  of  a  conspiracy  in  the 
Luxembourg  house  of  detention,  together  with  a  resolution  of 
the  17th  of  Messidor  providing  that  I  should  be  bound  to  bring 
to  trial  within  twenty-four  hours,  all  those  charged  with 
conspiracy  in  the  houses  of  detention.  That  is  why,  in 
virtue  of  the  law  cited  above,  I  could  not  avoid  prosecuting 
and  placing  on  trial  all  the  individuals  named  on  that  list. 

"  I  did  the  same,  afterwards,  in  regard  to  two  other  lists 
that  were  delivered  to  me  in  succession  by  the  same  Com- 
mittee and  on  which  were  placed  the  names  of  a  certain 
number  of  prisoners  from  the  house  of  the  Carmelites  and 
from  that  of  Lazare.  I  am  entirely  ignorant  in  what  way 
those  lists  were  delivered  to  the  Committee  and  by  whom 
they  were  made  out.  No  member  of  the  Committee  made 
me  the  least  revelation  in  this  respect.  I  am  equally  ignorant 
if  this  measure  was  imagined  because  there  were  not  sufficient 
offences  to  reach  the  persons  named  on  those  lists. 

"  As  for  me,  I  have  performed  the  imperious  duty  which 
was  enjoined  on  me  by  law  by  writing  to  the  Popular  Com- 
mission and  inviting  it  to  send  me  without  delay  all  the 
documents  for  conviction  or  acquittal  concerning  the  prison- 
ers that  it  might  have.  And,  for  this  purpose,  I  sent  it,  as 
fast  as  they  reached  me,  the  lists  of  prisoners  who  were  to  be 
placed  on  trial.  Moreover,  as  a  proof  that  I  acted  only  in 
virtue  of  the  orders  and  wishes  of  the  Committee  of  PubUc 
Safety,  I  may  say  that  the  Committee  having  decided  on  my 
representations  on  the  evening  of  the  i8th  of  Messidor  that 
the  158  prisoners  charged  with  conspiracy  in  the  Luxem- 
bourg should  be  tried  at  three  sessions,  namely  those  of  the 
19th,  the  2ist,  and  the  22nd,  when  I  got  back  I  immediately 
informed  the  Commission  of  this.  Finally,  I  would  add 
that  I  knew  so  little  about  this  conspiracy  and  the  alleged 
motives  for  which  it  was  imagined,  that  there  ought  to  be, 


THE    LISTS    OF    WITNESSES  209 

among  the  documents  of  the  trial,  a  letter  from  Citizen 
Lanne,  deputy-commissioner  of  the  Administration  of 
Civil  Affairs,  Pohce,  and  Tribunals,  dated  the  i8th  of  Messi- 
dor,  in  answer  to  mine,  giving  the  names  of  the  witnesses 
to  be  heard  in  this  affair,  and  that  I  had  never  seen  or 
known  the  witnesses  indicated  in  that  letter,  with  the  excep- 
tion of  Benoit  who  had  appeared  in  the  affair  of  Grammont  and 
others.  I  have  never  had  correspondence  with  this  Benoit, 
and  I  have  never  even  been  willing  to  allow  him  into  my 
room  in  spite  of  the  repeated  requests  to  do  so  made  in  his 
letters.  They  can  be  found  among  the  letters  I  threw 
aside." 

Q. — "  Have  you  not  caused  all  those  makers  of  the  Hsts 
to  be  heard  as  witnesses  ?  Did  you  not  concert  with  them 
as  to  the  nature  of  the  depositions  they  were  to  make  ?  Has 
it  not  happened  that  you  caused  them  to  be  arrested  and 
even  punished  because  in  some  circumstances  they  had 
given  evidence  for  the  defence  ?  Was  there  not  an  under- 
standing with  them  that  they  would  be  guided  in  their 
depositions  by  signs  that  you  had  agreed  to  make  to 
them  ?  " 

A. — "  I  could  not,  knowingly,  have  caused  the  makers  of 
hsts  to  be  heard,  for  the  authors  were  unknown  to  me,  and 
the  hsts,  as  I  have  already  remarked,  were  handed  to  me 
by  the  Committee  of  Pubhc  Safety,  except  for  one  informa- 
tion written  in  my  own  hand,  an  information  which  was 
lodged  with  me  after  the  Luxembourg  conspiracy  by  a  man 
named  Vemey,  then  a  turnkey  in  that  house  of  detention. 
This  declaration  is  attached  to  the  documents.^  What  is 
gratuitously  imputed  to  me  is  monstrous.  Moreover, 
those  signs  are  clearly  demonstrated  to  be  false,  for  the 
witness's  back  is  turned  to  the  Pubhc  Prosecutor,  and, 
besides,  a  man  does  not  come  to  commit  such  a  monstrous 
offence  unless  he  has  committed  others  before  it,  which 
cannot  be  proved  against  me.  It  is  false  that  I  ever  sought 
to  intimidate  any  witness  in  this  case,  or  in  any  other.  It  is 
true  only  that,  on  account  of  the  ambiguities  and  evasions  of 
1  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  2nd  dossier,  p.  28. 


210  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

a  turnkey  whose  name  I  have  forgotten, ^  the  Tribunal 
ordered  this  latter's  arrest  as  a  provisional  measure  of 
security." 

Q. — "  Have  you  not  allowed  yourself  to  be  dominated  by 
ill-humour  and  violence  in  cases  when  accused  persons  were 
acquitted,  where  you  had  presumed  condemnation  ?  Have 
you  not  claimed  to  retain  them  by  your  own  sole  authority, 
and  threatened  to  seize  them  again  and  have  them  tried 
anew  ?     Were  not  some  condemned  in  this  way  ?  " 

A. — "  I  remember  none  of  those  cases.  Further,  I  ask 
for  the  cases  to  be  pointed  out  to  me  in  which  it  is  stated 
that  I  behaved  in  this  way.  Then  I  will  answer  in  a  manner 
that  will  leave  no  doubt.  I  remember  only  that  Freteau, 
having  been  acquitted  for  a  first  offence,  the  Tribunal  decided 
that  he  should  be  detained  until  the  general  peace.  Fresh 
charges,  not  foreseen  and  not  indicated  on  his  first  indict- 
ment, having  been  laid  against  him,  he  was  again  placed  on 
trial  and  condemned  on  a  fresh  indictment." 

Q. — "  Have  you  ever  acceded  to  proposals  that  may  have 
been  made  to  you  to  allow  yourself  to  be  bribed  by  more  or 
less  considerable  sums  ?  " 

A. — "  I  have  always  been  faithful  to  my  duty.  Far  from 
allowing  myself  to  be  bribed,  I  would  not  even  have  allowed 
such  a  proposal  to  be  made  to  me.  To  ask  me  such  a  ques- 
tion is  to  crown  the  persecutions  that  I  am  made  to  suffer. 
My  conduct  has  been  always  frank  and  loyal.  I  ask,  further, 
that  the  names  of  the  individuals  be  made  known  to  me." 

Q. — "  Do  you  intend  to  justify  yourself,  and  from  what  do 
you  claim  that  your  justification  will  result  ?  " 

A. — "  For  that  purpose  I  make  use  of  the  answers  contained 
in  the  present  examination  and  of  the  printed  memorial  which 
ought  to  have  been  delivered  to  each  of  the  members  of  the 
Tribunal,  together  with  the  documents  found  at  the  time  of 
the  examination  of  my  papers  and  taken  away  by  the  Com- 
mission, and  other  papers  ;  finally,  of  means  of  which  I 
reserve  to  myself  the  time  and  place  for  turning  to  account." 

1  This  was  Lesenne,  turnkey  at  the  Luxembourg,  who  was  arrested 
on  the  19th  of  Messidor.     He  gave  evidence  at  Fouquier's  trial. 


AN    APPEAL    TO    THE    TRIBUNAL  211 

Q. — "  Have  you  made  choice  of  one  or  of  several 
defenders  ?  " 

A. — "  I  choose  Citizen  Lafieuterie." 

Here  Fouquier  remarked  that  it  ought  not  to  escape  the 
notice  of  the  Tribunal  that,  as  he  had  exercised  the  rigorous 
office  of  Public  Prosecutor  for  seventeen  months,  individuals 
might  come  forward,  moved  by  hatred  and  vengeance  to- 
wards him,  or  on  account  of  their  own  detention,  or  on 
account  of  the  condemnation  of  their  relatives  or  friends, 
to  give  evidence  against  him.  For  this  reason  he  asked  the 
justice  of  the  Tribunal  "  to  give  all  the  attention  of  which 
it  was  capable  to  persons  of  this  class,  leaving  it  also  to  the 
loyalty  of  the  Tribunal  that  the  present  examination  should 
not  be  seen  by  any  of  the  witnesses  who  were  to  be  heard." 

The  examination  ended.  The  accused  declared  that  he 
persisted  in  all  his  answers.  He  signed  the  official  report 
together  with  Granges,  the  judge's  deputy.  Judge  Forestier 
and  Josse,  the  registrar,  then  signed.^ 

On  the  4th  of  Frimaire  (November  24)  Fouquier  was 
transferred  from  the  Plessis  prison  to  the  Hospice  de  I'Evech^.  2 
This  fact  seems  to  indicate  that  he  was  ill,  exhausted  by  the 
struggle,  by  the  emotions  which  his  vigorous  temperament 
had  hitherto  withstood,  worn  out  by  an  extremely  severe 
winter  ^  and  by  the  prison  regimen.  Witnesses  at  his  trial 
declared  that  he  was  recognisable  though  very  changed  and 
grown  thinner.     He  remained  at  the  Hospice  de  I'Eveche 

*  Archives  Nationales,  W.  501,  2nd  dossier,  p.  39. 

•  L'Eveche  was  at  the  same  time  a  prison  and  a  hospital.  As  a 
prison  it  came  under  the  Public  Prosecutor's  jurisdiction  and  had 
been  under  Fouquier's  orders.  "  The  man  whom  the  patients  must 
have  least  expected  to  see  appearing  among  them  was  assuredly 
Fouquier-Tinville,  who,  after  having  taken  part  in  organising  the 
Hospice,  after  having  presided  over  it  for  a  long  time,  was  now  in  his 
turn  imprisoned  within  it  and  remained  there  until  the  suppression  of 
the  establishment."  We  take  this  quotation  from  a  very  interesting 
monograph  by  M.  Leon  Legrand  which  appeared  in  the  Revue  des 
Questions  Historiques,  July,  1890,  under  the  title  of  L' Hospice 
Rationale  du  Tribunal  Revolutionnaire. 

'  A  gendarme's  report  says,  on  the  loth  of  Nivose,  that  seven  per- 
sons crossing  the  Seine  by  the  ice  were  engulfed.  Aulard  :  Paris  sous 
ie  Direcioire,  I.,  p.  351. 


212  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

until  the  26th  of  Frimaire  (December  16),  on  which  date  he 
was  transferred  to  the  Conciergerie  in  order  to  appear,  two 
days  later,  before  the  Tribunal. 

Carrier  and  the  Revolutionary  Committee  of  Nantes  came 
up  for  trial  on  the  7th  of  Frimaire.  On  the  24th,  at  half- 
past  ten,  the  pleadings  in  the  Carrier  trial  closed.  On  the 
26th,  at  midnight,  Carrier  began  his  speech.  He  spoke 
from  midnight  until  half-past  four  in  the  morning.  He  was 
condemned  to  death  along  with  Pinard  and  Grandmaison.^ 
The  other  thirty  accused  persons  were  acquitted.  The 
Carrier  trial  lasted  sixty  sittings. 

On  the  same  day,  the  Tribunal,  presided  over  by  Dobsen, 
delivered  to  Public  Prosecutor  Leblois  an  official  certificate 
of  the  pleas  for  the  prosecution  which  he  had  just  drawn  up 
against  Fouquier-Tinville. 

This  document  comprised  three  propositions :  ist, 
Fouquier-Tinville's  crimes  ;  2nd,  Fouquier-Tinville's  com- 
binations and  objects ;  3rd,  Fouquier-Tinville's  character 
and  moral  behaviour. 

' '  Whether  we  endeavour  to  penetrate  into  his  connections, 
his  views,  his  object  ;  or  whether  we  go  further,  and  seek 
to  know  what  were  his  manners,  his  habits,  his  moral 
behaviour,  we  see,  and  we  could  say  it  is  already  proved, 
that,  in  all  these  different  aspects,  Fouquier  is  criminal, 
mischievous,  and  merits  punishment." 

In  short,  Leblois  laid  hold  of  and  directed  against  Fouquier 
the  charges  of  grouping  together  the  accused  persons  and  of 
placing  them  on  trial  in  a  mass  after  the  law  of  the  22nd  of 
Prairial.  He  accused  him  of  being  the  criminal  author  of 
those  hasty  trials,  thanks  to  which  "  accused  persons  have 
been  condemned  in  appearance  and  really  executed  without 
there  ever  being  against  them  either  a  valid  verdict  or  sen- 
tence." He  affirmed  that  he  was  responsible  for  the  substi- 
tution of  one  accused  person  for  another,  and  of  having  had 

»  Carrier  died  with  courage.  "  He  offered  his  hand  wth  good 
grace  to  the  executioner  and  mounted  to  the  theatre  of  death  with 
vivacity,"  says  the  Courier  Republicain  of  the  27th  of  Frimaire. 
"  Pinard  was  dying  at  the  foot  of  the  scaffold  ;  Grandmaison  was 
weeping  but  did  not  appear  to  lack  courage."     {Ibid.) 


THE    INDICTMENT    AGAINST    FOUQUIER    213 

the  guillotine  prepared  and  set  up  and  the  carts  got  ready  in 
advance.  He  rebuked  him  for  the  blank  sentence  forms,  and 
the  eagerness,  which  Fouquier  could  have  prevented,  for 
depriving  certain  accused  persons  of  the  right  to  plead  and 
thus  leaving  them  without  witnesses  or  defenders.  He 
rebuked  him  for  the  Comte  de  Fleury's  death.  He  insisted 
on  the  accusation  that  Fouquier  had  changed  the  jurors, 
and  made  a  selection  from  them,  that  he  had  spoken  to 
them  and  made  them  speak  to  him,  that  he  had  penetrated 
"  furtively  "  into  the  room  where  they  were  deliberating, 
that  he  had  jested  in  an  atrocious  fashion  by  calhng  them 
*'  firers  of  uninterrupted  volleys."  He  influenced  witnesses. 
He  received  them  in  his  office  ;  he  taught  them  what  they 
were  to  say.  He  "  exercised  the  most  pronounced  despotism 
over  all  the  agents  of  the  Tribunal,  and  especially  over  the 
secretaries  of  the  prosecutor's  office."  He  kept  back  docu- 
ments for  the  defence,  and  refused  to  deliver  them  to  the 
defenders.  He  abstained  from  opening  packets  of  docu- 
ments for  the  defence.  He  bed  by  implying  and  trying  to 
make  it  believed  that  some  accused  persons  when  placed  on 
trial  had  rebelled  against  the  Tribunal  and  shown  a  lack  of 
respect  towards  it.^  He  lied  by  implying  and  trying  to  make 
it  believed  that  there  existed  conspiracies  in  the  prisons. 
"He  acted  thus  in  order  to  snatch  the  terrible  law  of  the 
22nd  of  Prairial,  which  he  boasted  of  obtaining,  and  of  which, 
perhaps,  he  alone  could  have  given  the  dangerous  idea."  He 
himself  went  to  the  prisons  and  the  houses  of  detention. 
"  He  made  it  his  task  to  have  intercourse  with  those  cowardly 
men  whom  one  is  always  sure  of  finding  inclined  to  injure 
others  and  to  degrade  themselves.  He  flattered  them, 
caressed  them,  and  influenced  them  to  charge  themselves 
with  the  very  doubtful  emplo3mient  of  common  informers. 
.  .  .  He  estabhshed,  between  himself  and  them,  a  furtive, 
inquisitorial,  sanguinary  intercourse,  based  upon  the  lists  of 
proscribed  persons." 

"  Inexorable  and  pitiless,  the  verdict  which  accidentally 
acquitted  an  accused  person  was  to  Fouquier-Tinville  the 
^  Dan  ton  and  the  Dantonists. 


214  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

object  of  a  further  display  of  rage  and  fury  ;  he  almost 
always  opposed,  and  that  on  his  own  authority  alone,  the 
execution  of  verdicts  of  acquittal,  and  if  he  were  nevertheless 
forced  to  abstain  from  resisting  them,  he  protested  and 
threatened  to  recapture  and  sacrifice  the  victim  ;  this  was 
especially  the  feeling  he  experienced  towards,  and  the 
threat  he  made  against,  and  the  fate  he  reserved  for,  one  of 
the  former  ParHamentarians  whose  ruin  he  had  sworn. "^ 

Leblois  charged  Fouquier  with  having  "  strangely  and  in 
all  ways  proved  false  to  every  part  and  function  of  his  office," 
wdth  having  been  as  greedy  for  blood  as  for  money,  with 
having  kept  the  sums  sent  to  the  prisoners  through  him, 
with  having  illegally  taken  over  various  deposits,  chattels, 
and  sums  of  money,  "  since  there  was  legally  no  other 
depository  than  the  registrar  of  the  Tribunal,"  and,  either 
from  forgetfulness  or  from  fraudulent  intention,  with  making 
no  note  or  register  of  those  objects,  some  of  which  have 
been  cut  up  or  lost,  and  which  it  is  impossible  to  trace  here. 

He  charged  him  with  having  supported  those  "  monsters," 
Robespierre,  Saint-Just,  Couthon,  and  others,  "  who  had 
promised  themselves  to  depopulate  France  and  to  cause 
to  disappear  all  its  genius,  talents,  honour,  and  industry." 
It  will  be  demonstrated,  said  Leblois,  "  that  Fouquier  paid 
them  visits  in  the  dead  of  night. "^  It  will  be  demonstrated, 
he  said  also,  ' '  that  they  held  orgies  in  private  houses  at  the 
period  when  the  conspiracy  was  discovered." 

In  brief,  "it  is  proved  that  Fouquier-Tinville  made 
amusement  and  a  sort  of  enjoyment  out  of  the  great  numbers 
of  those  whom  he  placed  on  trial  and  who  were  condemned." 

Leblois  accordingly  charged  his  predecessor  with  having 
betrayed  his  ofhce,  with  having  conspired,  as  author  or 
accomplice,  against  the  internal  security  of  the  State  and 
of  the  French  people  ;    with  having  consequently  and  in 

1  Freteau  (Emmanuel  Marie  Michel  Philippe),  a  councillor  of  the 
Parlement  of  Paris,  at  first  acquitted  (27th  of  Floreal  in  the  year  II.), 
then  placed  again  on  trial  and  guillotined  (26th  of  Prairial  in  the 
year  II.). 

*  These  were  the  visits  that  Fouquier  made  to  the  Committee 
of  Public  Safety  to  which  he  went  to  give  an  account  of  his  work. 


THE    HEARING    POSTPONED  215 

this  manner  provoked  the  dissolution  of  the  national 
representation,  the  overthrow  of  the  Republican  system, 
the  re-estabUshment  of  royalty,  and  with  having  sought 
to  provoke,  by  murder  and  terror,  the  arming  of  citizens 
one  against  another,  and  with  exciting  civil  war.^ 

Two  days  later,  on  the  28th  of  Frimaire  (December  18), 
Lecointre  (of  Versailles)  proposed  in  the  Convention  that 
those  who  were  acquitted  in  the  Carrier  trial  should  be  sent 
before  a  criminal  Tribunal  on  a  charge  of  ordinary  crimes. 
A  sharp  discussion  took  place.  Some  representatives  of  the 
people  declared  that  Revolutionary  justice  had  been  too 
long  in  the  same  hands.  Bourdon  (of  the  Oise)  proposed 
that  the  Tribunal  sitting  at  Paris  should  be  renewed.  The 
Convention  decreed  that  this  should  be  done. 

The  usher  of  the  Convention  delivered  this  decree  to 
President  Dobsen  at  the  moment  when  Fouquier-Tinville 
was  in  the  chair  answering  the  questions  of  the  judges  and 
jurors.  The  President  immediately  prorogued  the  hearing. 
And  Fouquier  was  led  back  to  prison.  Everything  had  to 
be  begun  again.  During  more  than  three  months  that 
he  was  imprisoned,  "  he  was  frightfully  bored." ^  He  was 
still  to  be  incarcerated  for  four  months  and  a  half  longer 
before  "  he  mounted  to  the  theatre  of  death. "^ 

1  Archives  Nationales,  W.  499,  dossier  550,  p.  7. 

*  Fouquier's  expression  in  one  of  his  letters  to  his  wife. 

*  An  expression  of  the  time,  used  of  Carrier, 


CHAPTER    X 

FOUQUIER-TINVILLE's  second  trial  :  THE  INQUIRY  BY  THE 
TRIBUNAL  ESTABLISHED  ON  THE  8tH  OF  NIVOSE  IN  THE 
YEAR   III 

ON  the  8th  of  Nivose  in  the  year  III.  (December  28, 
1794),    the    National    Convention    voted  the  re- 
organisation of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal,  pro- 
posed by  Merlin  (of  Douai).     This  law  was  put 
into  effect  a  month  later.     The  magistrates  who  composed 
the  new  Tribunal  came  from  the  provinces.     Their  duties 
at  Paris  were  not  to  last  more  than  three  months.^ 

The  first  session  was  held  in  the  Hall  of  Liberty  on  the 
8th  of  Pluviose  in  the  year  HI.  Aumont^  dehvered  a  speech 
of  the  historic  type,  in  which  he  called  to  mind  Brutus  pro- 
claiming the  liberty  of  Rome  over  the  ruins  of  the  overturned 
throne  of  the  Tarquins,  but  avoiding  the  shedding  of  innocent 
blood  on  the  scaffold.  He  also  evoked  Sulla  and  Octavius, 
and  of  Rome  placed  in  chains.  He  hailed  the  dawn  of  a  happy 
time  of  justice.  The  new  Tribunal  would  be  revolutionary 
and  Republican  but  just. 

"  When  the  sight  of  crime  and  the  sad  necessity  of  letting 
the  sword  of  the  law  fall  upon  guilty  heads  will  come  to 
sadden  our  hearts,  keep  in  sight  the  assurance  of  a  not  far 
distant  future.  .  .  .  Behold  France  more  powerful 
and  more  respected  than  Rome  and  Sparta,  more  intellectual 
than  Athens,  more  opulent  than  Carthage ;  above  all, 
happier  than  those  famous  republics,  because  she  will  have 

1  Campardon  :    he  Tribunal  Revolutionnaire,  II.,  p.  132. 

*  Aumont,  a  commissioner  for  the  Administration  of  Civil  Affairs, 
Police,  and  Tribunals,  became  head  of  the  legal  and  consulting  office 
in  the  general  police  department,  and  afterwards  until  the  year  VII. 
was  head  of  the  detective  department.  We  find  no  indication  of  him 
in  the  year  IX. 

216 


FOUQUIER'S    SECOND    TRIAL  217 

more  virtue,  and  will  gaze  upon  the  spectacle  of  her  happiness 
in  preparing  the  liberty  and  welfare  of  the  world.  "^ 

President  Agier^  then  said  that  he  and  his  colleagues 
"  ascended  with  fright  into  a  tribunal  of  blood  which 
recently,  whilst  striking  as  by  chance  at  some  guilty  heads, 
had  sent  thousands  of  innocent  victims  to  death." 

"  Priests  of  justice,"  he  went  on,  "  we  have  sacrificed 
ourselves  to  the  pubhc  good  ;  before  being  the  sacrificers, 
we  become  so  to  speak  the  victims  ;  let  us  obey,  since  we 
must,  and  not  being  able  to  have  the  merit  of  refusing, 
let  us  at  least  possess  that  of  resignation.  If  we  have  to 
pass  rigorous  judgments,  it  is  not  to  us  that  they  can  be 
imputed,  but  solely  to  the  Law,  of  which  we  shall  be,  in  all 
the  severity  of  the  term,  interpreters  by  compulsion ; 
we  are  reaUy  responsible  only  for  our  zeal ;  and  conscience 
tells  us  that  it  could  not  be  purer." 

The  prisoners  to  be  tried  by  this  Tribunal,  estabhshed 
on  the  8th  of  Nivose  in  the  year  III.,  did  not  employ  language 
different  from  that  of  their  accusers.  They  also  declared 
that  they  had  obeyed.  They  also  said  that  they  could  not 
refuse.  They  also  entrenched  themselves  within  the  formula 
of  the  Law.  They  also  maintained  that  they  had  only 
interpreted  it.  They  also  afhrmed  that  they  had  behaved 
with  exactitude,  with  rigorous  zeal,  that  they  had  been 
bound  to  act  thus,  and  were  the  victims  of  dut}^ 

Only,  it  ought  to  be  noticed  how  the  times  had  changed. 
The  duties  of  the  members  of  the  Tribunal  which  was  re- 
fashioned on  the  8th  of  Nivose  could  be  performed  without 
danger  and  without  risk.  They  were  even  not  without  profit. 
The  other  duties,  those  of  the  members  of  the  Tribunal 
established  on  March  10,  1793,  and  on  the  22nd  of  Prairial, 
1794,  brought  them  to  the  scaffold.  But  the  judges  of  the 
Terror  had  sent  to  death,  between  April  6,  1793,  and  the 
22nd   of   Prairial,    1794,   one  thousand   two   hundred   and 

>  Archives  Nationales,   W.   532,   reg.   5. 

*  Agier,  formerly  an  advocate  in  the  Parlement  of  Paris  and  a 
substitute  Deputy  for  Paris  in  the  States-General.  A  judge  in  the 
Tribunal  for  the  Second  Arrondissement,  he  resigned  after  August 
10  and  only  entered  upon  his  functions  after  the  gth  of  Thermidor. 


2i8  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

fifty-nine  accused  persons,  and,  between  the  22nd  of  Prairial 
and  the  9th  of  Thermidor,  one  thousand  three  hundred  and 
sixty-six,  or  altogether  two  thousand  six  hundred  and 
twenty-five  victims  in  the  space  of  sixteen  months  ;  while 
the  judges  of  the  Tribunal  estabhshed  in  Nivose  of  the  year 
HI.  pronounced  only  seventeen  death  sentences — those  of 
Fouquier-Tinville,  fifteen  of  those  charged  along  with  him, 
and  a  woman,  Marie  Therese  Marchal  Jacquet,  found  guilty 
of  corresponding  with  the  enemies  of  the  Repubhc. 

On  the  i2th  of  Ventose  in  the  year  IH.  (March  2, 
1795),  the  preliminaries  of  Fouquier's  trial  began  again  on 
a  wider  basis  and  with  new  sources  of  information.  A  larger 
number  of  witnesses  was  heard — registrars  and  clerks  of  the 
Tribunal  established  on  March  10,  1793,  employees  in  the 
prosecutor's  office,  ushers,  Fouquier's  secretaries,  coachmen 
of  the  Tribunal,  gendarmes,  lawyers,  official  defenders, 
attendants  in  the  refreshment-room,  police  officials,  wine- 
sellers,  employees  in  the  prisons,  turnkeys,  the  executioner, 
the  executioner's  assistants,  ex-prison  spies,  persons  who 
had  been  accused  but  had  escaped  the  penalties  of  the 
Tribunal,  all  those,  in  a  word,  who  had  hved  the  life  of  the 
Revolutionary  Tribunal  during  sixteen  months,  and  some 
persons  who,  in  spite  of  the  Tribunal,  were  still  alive. 

We  have  analysed  these  depositions  from  the  originals, 
preserved  among  the  Archives,  made  before  Charles  Fran9ois 
Joseph  Pissis,  Judge  of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal,  a  com- 
missioner appointed  by  an  order  issued  on  the  12th  of 
Ventose  in  the  year  HI,,  and  signed  by  Vice-President 
Liger. 

In  these  long  depositions,  so  curious  and  so  interesting, 
in  these  examinations  signed  by  the  investigating  judge 
and  by  each  of  the  witnesses,  the  living  history  of  the  trial 
is  revealed.  It  is  the  life  of  the  Tribunal  of  the  Terror, 
Fouquier's  existence  during  sixteen  months,  which  lives 
again  in  those  large  pages  covered  with  the  close  handwriting 
of  the  registrars  who  alternately  held  the  pen.  To  reproduce 
in  extenso  these  testimonies  would  be  impossible  ;  their 
prolixity  and  repetitions  would  exhaust  the  reader's  atten- 


FIRST    WITNESSES  219 

tion.  We  have  accordingly  summarised  them  \vithout 
omitting  anything  essential.  We  hope  that  the  reading 
of  this  summary  (in  which  the  details,  collected  and  noted 
from  life,  are  specified  and  particularised)  will  give  the 
reader  all  the  interest  we  ourselves  have  derived  from  reading 
the  depositions  in  the  original  documents,  and  from  trans- 
scribing  and  summarising  them. 

The  first  witness  whom  Judge  Pissis  examined  on  that 
1 2th  of  Ventose  in  the  year  III.  was  a  young  woman  of 
twenty-two  years  of  age  who  had  escaped  from  the  guillotine 
by  a  miracle — Amelie  Laurence  Marie  Celeste  Saint-Pern, 
the  widow  of  Cornulier,^  born  at  Rennes  in  the  Ile-et-Vilaine, 
and  residing  in  Paris,  at  the  Rue  du  Sentier,  Brutus  Section. 

She  declared  that  on  the  ist  of  Thermidor  in  the  year  II. 
she  appeared  before  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal  along  with 
her  husband,  brother,  grandfather,  mother,  and  her  two 
uncles.  She  and  her  husband  were  condemned  to  death. 
There  was,  to  her  knowledge,  no  writ  of  indictment  against 
them,  and  no  legal  documents.  They  had  been  handed  a  writ 
of  indictment  at  the  door  of  the  audience-chamber.  She 
escaped  death  only  by  declaring  herself  pregnant.  During 
the  hearing  of  the  case,  she  was  only  asked  her  name,  her 
age,  rank,  and  residence.  No  witness  was  called  either  for 
the  prosecution  or  for  the  defence.  She  wanted  to  speak 
on  her  own  behalf.  The  President  ordered  two  gendarmes 
to  separate  her  from  her  husband  and  to  take  her  to  the  end 
of  the  bench  on  which  the  prisoners  sat,  so  that  she  could  not 
speak  to  him. 

Before  the  hearing,  when  the  names  of  the  accused  were 
called  over  at  the  Conciergerie,  neither  she  nor  her  husband 
had  been  called,  for  they  were  not  on  the  list,  and  had 
received  no  writ  of  indictment.  The  bearer  of  the  Ust, 
so  Madame  Cornulier  deposed,  immediately  came  bade 
and  said  :  "  It  is  required  that  they  appear  at  the  hearing 
to-day,  and  they  are  not  included  in  the  list  nor  in  the  writ 
of  indictment."  He  sent  for  one.  M.  Cornulier  refused 
to  take  his  place  on  the  benches  until  he  was  shown  a  writ 

*  She  sig^s  herself  thus. 


220  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

of  indictment  in  which  his  name  was  included.  One  was 
brought  to  them  immediately.  Their  names  were  included 
in  it.  It  was  handed  to  them  at  the  entrance  to  the  audience- 
chamber.  Her  brother,  Bertrand  Jean  Marie  Saint-Pern, 
aged  seventeen,  was  condemned  the  same  day  on  a  writ  of 
indictment  made  out  against  his  father  aged  fifty-three. 

"  They  were  named  in  it,"  says  the  witness,  "  under  this 
form,  Saint-Pern  and  his  wife,  son-in-law  and  daughter 
of  Magon  de  la  Balue,"  a  description  that  only  fitted  her 
father  and  his  wife,  and  could  not  be  adapted  to  her  young 
brother.^ 

The  public  executioner's  assistant,  Pierre  Frangois 
Etienne  Desmorest,  who  had  already  given  evidence  at  the 
first  inquiry,  that  held  in  Brumaire,  repeated  what  he  knew 
concerning  Fouquier.  He  had  had  "  no  special  connection 
with  him."  One  day  Fouquier  complained  to  him  that  the 
executions  took  place  too  late.  He  told  him  to  come  to 
him  for  orders.  Desmorest  went  every  morning.  As  a 
rule,  Fouquier  would  say  to  him  at  eleven  or  twelve  o'clock  : 
"  The  guillotine  must  be  set  up  for  two  o'clock  or  half -past 
two.     So  many  vehicles  must  be  procured." 

One  day  he  told  him  that  ten  or  eleven  were  needed. 
He  never  thought  there  were  enough  vehicles  because  he 
wished  there  to  be  only  seven  or  eight  condemned  persons 
in  each  of  them.^  Still,  one  day  it  was  necessary  to  put  as 
many  as  ten  in  each  vehicle.  When  the  sentences  were 
passed,  Desmorest  would  go  and  find  the  usher  who  was  to 
be  present  at  the  execution,  and  who  had  the  list  of  con- 
demned persons  with  Fouquier' s  order.  Desmorest  used  to 
go  with  this  usher  to  the  Conciergerie,  where  the  janitor 
"  would  deliver  over  to  them  the  condemned  persons,  whom 
it  was  not  necessary  to  summon  because  they  were  usually 
enclosed  in  an  apartment  separated  from  the  other  prisoners 
and  guarded  by  gendarmes."  He  would  count  them,  with 
the  list  in  his  hand.     The  condemned  persons  were  deprived 

1  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  45  Us,  folio  i. 
»  We  have  seen  that  he  had  received  formal  orders  from  the  Com- 
mittees on  this  matter. 


CONVICTIONS    ANTICIPATED  221 

of  their  property  before  being  handed  over  to  the  executioner. 
By  a  resolution  of  the  Convention,  their  clothing  was  taken 
to  the  Hospital  of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal.  He  did 
not  know  what  became  of  it. 

At  the  end  of  his  evidence,  Desmorest  remembered  that 
the  day  when  Fouquier  asked  for  ten  or  eleven  vehicles 
was  the  loth  of  Thermidor,  and  it  was  for  the  execution  of 
the  seventy-one  members  of  the  Commune  of  Paris  who  had 
been  outlawed.  "  He  received  this  order  in  Fouquier' s  own 
house." 

Etienne  Simonnet,  usher  of  the  Tribunal,  aged  66,  declared 
that  he  was  too  much  occupied  with  the  discharge  of  his 
duties  to  notice  Fouquier' s  threats  and  outbursts  in  the 
registrar's  ofhce.  He  only  knew  two  or  three  facts.  One 
day  Fouquier  had  changed  several  of  the  jurors  on  the  list 
of  those  who  were  summoned.  Several  times  Simonnet 
received  "  imperfect  "  writs  of  indictment  from  the  prose- 
cutor's office  ;  in  some  of  those  writs  the  names  of  the 
accused  persons  did  not  appear,  "  so  that  the  names  were  only 
given  as  they  were  asked  for  at  the  prosecutor's  office." 
On  another  day,  about  the  22nd  of  Prairial,  Simonnet  heard 
him  say  "  that  he  would  have  all  those  scoundrels  of  con- 
spirators exterminated,  that  he  had  orders  to  that  effect  from 
the  Committees."  One  morning,  he  saw  in  the  courtyard  of 
the  Sainte-Chapelle,  before  the  trial,  a  certain  number  of  carts 
which  seemed  "  intended  to  carry  those  who  were  to  be 
condemned."^ 

Gabriel  Jerome  Senar,  aged  35,  a  lawyer,  residing  at  Tours, 
but  at  the  time  detained  in  the  Hospice  de  I'Eveche,  declared 
that  he  had  "  much  knowledge  useful  for  the  decision  of  the 
case  of  Fouquier-Tinville  through  his  connection,  interviews 
and  correspondence  with  him." 

But  it  must  be  confessed  that  Senar's  evidence  is  highly 
suspicious.  Senar  had  been  an  agent  of  the  Committee  of 
General  Security.  He  had  been  president  of  a  military 
revolutionary  committee  established  at  Tours  ;  he  had  been 
national  agent  of  the  Commune  of  Tours.     He  was  at  once  a 

*  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  45  bis,  folios  2  and  3. 


222  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

gendarme  and  an  informer  by  profession.  He  knew  well 
that  his  evidence  could  be  stamped  as  inadmissible,  since, 
on  the  first  occasion  when  questioned,  he  had  asked  whether 
"  a  man  covered  with  suspicion  could  be  heard  as  a  witness, 
and  his  depositions  brought  forward  when  his  name  was 
dishonoured  in  public  opinion."  He  took  advantage  of  this 
to  solicit  the  new  Tribunal  to  be  good  enough  "  to  indict 
or  to  judge  him,  as,  for  eight  months,  he  could  obtain  no 
decision  nor  even  a  statement  of  the  charges  against  him." 

Senar  said  that,  having  come  from  Tours  to  Paris  by 
order  of  the  Committee,  "  he  made  the  unlucky  acquaintance 
of  Heron,  the  principal  agent  of  the  Committee  of  General 
Security,  who  got  hold  of  him."  Heron  took  him  to  Fou- 
quier-Tinville,  "  who  appeared  to  be  very  closely  associated 
with  him."  Fouquier  received  Heron  in  these  terms : 
"  Our  business  is  going  well.  Heads  are  falhng  like  slates." 
They  afterwards  spoke  of  Santerre,  who  had  been  arrested. 
Senar  was  a  commissioner  in  that  affair.  After  a  discus- 
sion of  the  official  report  regarding  Santerre,  Fouquier- 
Tinville  answered  : — "  What  does  it  matter  to  me  whether 
you  are  a  patriot  or  not  ?  When  the  Committee  of  Public 
Safety  tells  me  to  have  any  one  guillotined,  I  do  it.  .  . 
Once  more,  I  am  only  a  passive  being,  obhged  to  make  those 
persons  perish  whom  Robespierre  names.  In  this  case  I 
obey  the  Committee  of  Public  Safety,  I  agree.  It  is  dis- 
pleasing to  me,  on  your  account,  if,  through  the  rivalry  of  the 
two  Committees,  Santerre  has  been  kept  in  prison  too  long. 
I  shall  make  him  take  his  place  on  my  little  bench,  and  you 
will  dance  the  Carmagnole  there." 

Senar  :  "  Ought  the  Revolution  to  assassinate,  and  ought 
we  not  to  have  justice  ?  " 

Fouquier  :  "  It  is  only  counter-revolutionaries  and  knaves 
who  ask  for  justice.  Ask  Heron  how  we  work  the  heads. 
In  Revolution  you  must  not  stop  at  these  trifles." 

Some  moments  afterwards  Senar  heard  Heron  say  to 
Fouquier  :  "  Good,  good,  my  friend.  Cut  off  their  heads. 
That  is  the  way  to  enrich  the  Repubhc."  After  this  they 
separated. 


THE    INDULGENT    FACTION  223 

One  day,  having  business  at  Fouquier's  office,  to  deliver 
to  him  documents  by  order  of  the  Committee  of  General 
Security,  he  spoke  to  the  Public  Prosecutor  in  favour  of  the 
Revolutionary  Committee  of  Bourgueil,  and  begged  him  not 
to  put  them  on  trial  immediately,  although  they  were  at 
the  Conciergerie.  Fouquier  answered  him  :  "  This  is  how 
it  is.  When  one  wants  to  carry  terror  into  the  country  dis- 
tricts, to  maintain  the  Revolution  by  fear,  one  finds  these 
gentlemen  of  the  Indulgent  Faction  who  cry  out,  and  our 
measure  would  fail  if  we  listened  to  them.  This  is  good 
business.  There  are  rich  people  in  it,  for  when  they  entered 
the  Conciergerie  plenty  of  money  was  taken  from  them." 

At  another  time,  in  regard  to  the  trial  of  this  case,  Fouquier 
said  to  him  :  "  I  have  so  much  to  do  that  I  forget  what  I  am 
saying  or  what  is  suggested  to  me." 

The  members  of  the  Bourgueil  Committee  were  given  their 
liberty,  thanks  to  a  reprieve. 

Senar,  having  notified  to  Fouquier  a  resolution  passed 
by  the  Committee  of  General  Security  giving  them  hberty, 
the  Pubhc  Prosecutor  exclaimed  :  "  It  is  always  the  same  ! 
Another  case  of  liberty  given  by  the  Committee  of  General 
Security  !  But  I  cannot  accede  to  it  because,  according  to 
the  law  of  the  22nd  of  Prairial,  the  Tribunal  cannot  set  at 
liberty  without  the  consent  of  the  Committee  of  Public 
Safety."  In  spite  of  Senar's  observations,  he  persisted  in  his 
refusal.  Senar  then  withdrew.  As  he  was  leaving,  he  met 
Amar,  the  Deputy,  who  told  him  to  wait  for  him,  so  that  they 
might  go  away  together  in  the  carriage  belonging  to  the 
Committee  of  General  Security. 

Fouquier  reappeared  and  was  stopped  by  a  citizen,  who 
said  to  him  :  "  How  many  vehicles  will  be  wanted  to- 
day ?  " 

Fouquier  counted  on  his  fingers  :  "  Eight,  twelve,  eighteen, 
thirty.     Count  on  thirty." 

The  other,  who  was  "  attached  to  the  public  executioner," 
withdrew.  Fouquier  perceived  Senar,  and  said  to  him  : 
**  What  are  you  waiting  here  f or  ?  " 

"  I  am  waiting  for  Amar,  the  Representative  of  the  people, 


224  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

with  whom  I  am  to  go  away  in  the  carriage  ;  I  am  tired,  and 
all  the  more  so  on  account  of  the  fright  your  answer  has  just 
caused  me.  You  know  the  number  of  the  condemned  and 
their  case  is  not  yet  heard  !  They  have  not  and  cannot  be 
tried  by  this  time,  for  it  is  too  early  in  the  day." 

"  Bah  !  "  answered  Fouquier,  "  I  know  what  to  think." 

He  left  him  abruptly  with  the  words  :  "  You  are  not  good 
revolutionaries,  you  formalists  !  " 

Another  evening,  at  the  office  of  the  prosecutor's  secre- 
taries, where  Senar  was  making  out  an  analytical  inventory 
of  the  documents  which  he  was  to  deliver,  Fouquier  came  in 
and  said  :  "  You  are  very  much  afraid,  Mr.  Formalist.  You 
are  going  as  much  into  detail  as  if  you  were  drawing  up  an 
inventory  to  be  exhibited  in  court." 

Heron  ^  was  there.  Fouquier  required  Senar  to  be  briefer, 
and  pressed  him  to  end  his  work.  He  sent  the  secretary  away. 
It  was  late.  It  was  necessary  to  go  to  the  Committee  of 
Public  Safety.  Fouquier  asked  for  two  gendarmes.  They 
went  out,  the  gendarmes  following  some  paces  behind. 
Senar  walked  with  Heron  and  Fouquier.  As  they  went. 
Heron  and  Fouquier  ' '  conversed  of  the  victories  won  by  the 
guillotine."  Fouquier  said  :  "I  am  pleased  with  its  suc- 
cesses ;  but  there  are  people  who,  although  renowned  patriots, 
have  gone  through  it.  Others  also  will  go  through  it,  and 
I  am  afraid  that  it  may  play  a  trick  on  me.  I  have  seen  the 
ghosts  of  some  patriots.  For  some  time  it  has  seemed  to  me 
that  those  ghosts  are  following  me.  How  will  all  this  end  ? 
I  do  not  know." 

Senar  answered  :  "  When  a  suspected  person  is  charged, 
the  Public  Prosecutor  should  himself  judge  of  the  charge  in 
his  own  conscience.  By  an  exact  and  scrupulous  summary, 
he  ought  to  place  the  jurors  in  a  position  not  to  be  deceived. 
If  he  is  forced  to  do  the  contrary,  he  ought  to  resign." 

Senar  affirmed  that  he  said  this.     Heron  silenced  him. 

"  You  are  a  chatterer.     Fouquier  ought  not  to  take  advice 

*  See  in  the  first  series  of  M.  Lenotre's  Vieilles  Maisons,  Vieux 
Papiers,  the  article  entitled  Two  Police  Officials  (Heron  and  Dosson- 
ville). 


THE    TIMOROUS    SENAR  225 

from  a  greenhorn.     A  few  skulls  like  yours  would  be  enough 
to  ruin  the  revolution." 

And  Fouquier  said  :  "  Yes,  I  perceive  that  this  fellow  is 
not  a  revolutionary.  We  should  do  fine  things  if  we  took 
precautions." 

They  were  then  going  through  the  door  of  the  Louvre. 
Three  ill-clad  men  seemed  to  be  hiding  there.  When 
they  heard  the  footsteps  of  the  gendarmes,  and  saw  the 
three  others,  they  went  away.  Fouquier  said  to  Heron  : 
"  My  good  friend,  we  shall  not  profit  by  our  revolutionary 
labours.     We  shall  be  assassinated." 

Heron  rephed  :  "  What  matter  ?  Between  now  and 
then  we  shall  make  an  end  of  some  of  them.  Do  not  be 
uneasy.  Whatever  impediments  I  encounter  at  the  Com- 
mittee of  General  Security — and  they  sometimes  unsettle 
my  plans — I  shall  none  the  less  deal  with  them  as  we  have 
agreed,  and  we  shall  have  more  heads." 

Fouquier  rejoined  :  "  You  must  be  silent  in  the  presence 
of  Indulgents." 

This  was  intended  for  Senar, 

"  Good,"  answered  Heron,  "  if  he  commit  the  least  indis- 
cretion, I  shall  soon  master  him." 

At  the  entrance  to  the  courtyard  of  the  Tuileries,  they 
withdrew  a  little  from  him.  Senar  was  less  able  to  hear  what 
they  said.  He  only  heard  Fouquier's  voice  and  these  words 
spoken  by  him  :  "  We  shall  always  be  in  agreement,  and 
shall  make  them  dance  the  Carmagnole." 

Heron  then  rejoined  Senar.  They  went  to  the  Committee 
of  General  Security.  The  timorous  Senar  unbosomed  himself 
to  Amar,  the  Deputy,  He  told  him  that  Heron  had  a 
grudge  against  him  and  why.  Amar  reassured  him  :  "Be 
calm,  the  Committee  knows  you.  I  will  see  that  nothing  is 
done  to  you.  If  you  were  arrested  again,  you  would  not  be 
brought  before  the  Tribunal  without  being  heard.  A 
resolution  will  be  passed  that  will  send  you  back  home."^ 
Senar  breathed  again. 

Charles  Louis  Perdry,  aged  37,  of  No.  492  Rue  Neuve-des- 
»  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  p.  45  bis,  folios  4  to  7. 
p 


226  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

Petits-Champs,  judge  of  the  Tribunal  of  the  Second  Arron- 
dissement  of  Paris,  a  compatriot  of  Fouquier,  knew  him  before 
the  Revolution.  "  Their  families  had  intermarried."  He 
had  been  a  director  with  him  of  the  jury  of  the  Tribunal 
estabUshed  on  August  17, 1792.  He  had  seen  him  less  often 
since  he  was  appointed  deputy  and  then  Public  Prosecutor, 
He  was  present  at  certain  sessions  of  the  Revolutionary 
Tribunal.     "  They  filled  him  with  sorrow." 

He  was  not  able  to  remain  for  long,  as  he  was  "  moved 
at  seeing  on  the  benches  for  the  accused  and  perhaps  in  the 
midst  of  those  who  were  guilty,  men  clothed  with  public 
confidence."  He  had  been  a  prisoner  in  the  Plessis  prison. 
Terror  ruled  there.  The  prisoners  were  afraid  to  speak 
to  one  another.  He  had  never  been  able  to  conceive  "  how 
any  one  had  the  effrontery  to  maintain  that  there  were 
conspiracies  in  the  prisons." 

Anne  Marguerite  Devilliers,  the  wife  of  Morisan,  aged  50, 
residing  in  the  Palace,  at  the  Cafe  des  Subsistances,  kept  the 
refreshment-room  of  the  Tribunal.  Fouquier  frequently 
came  there  to  eat.  He  often  waited  there  in  the  evening 
until  the  Committees  of  Public  Safety  and  of  General  Security 
were  open  for  him  to  go  to  them.  She  several  times  heard 
Fouquier  complain  that  he  carried  on  a  cruel  trade,  saying 
that  he  would  prefer  to  be  a  labourer.  He  used  to  ask  : 
"  Were  there  many  people  present  at  the  executions  ?  " 

When  they  told  him  that  there  had  been  a  crowd,  Fouquier 
would  answer  with  a  shrug  of  his  shoulders  :  "  It  is  fright- 
ful !  "  Sometimes  he  dined  alone  ;  on  other  occasions  with 
certain  jurors  and  certain  judges. 

She  was  sometimes  present  at  the  hearings,  before  the 
22nd  of  Prairial.  She  saw  Fouquier  cross-examining  the 
accused.  They  could  answer  him  freely.  She  heard  Fou- 
quier say  to  the  President  :  "  Put  such  and  such  a  question 
to  the  accused,  and  let  them  answer." 

After  the  law  of  the  22nd  of  Prairial,  she  heard  Fouquier, 
who  was  dining  in  the  refreshment-room,  say :  "  The  times 
are  very  cruel.     It  cannot  last," 

He  complained  bitterly   of   President   Dumas,     On   the 


A    WRETCHED    TRADE  227 

9th  of  Thermidor  he  did  not  dine  with  her.  He  returned 
to  the  Tribunal  about  six  o'clock  in  the  evening.  He  came 
down  to  the  refreshment-room  about  eight  or  nine  o'clock, 
and  said  :  "  I  do  not  know  what  is  taking  place  or  what 
it  means." 

He  sent  Malarme,  one  of  the  secretaries  of  the  prosecutor's 
oflfice,  to  get  information.  Citizen  Botot-Dumesnil,  an  officer 
of  police,  sent  out  some  men.  Fouquier  said  :  "As  for 
me,  I  remain  at  my  post,  were  I  to  perish  there.  I  fear 
nothing." 

He  remained  there,  in  fact,  until  one  o'clock  in  the 
morning.  He  then  went  out,  saying  :  "I  am  going  to  the 
Committee." 

Madehne  Nicole  Sophie  Morisan,  aged  20,  residing  with 
her  father,  a  restaurant  keeper,  at  the  Cafe  des  Subsistances, 
in  the  Palace,  had  seen  Fouquier-Tinville  several  times 
at  her  father's,  as  he  came  to  eat  there  at  five  o'clock  in 
the  evening.  He  often  sat  alone,  but  sometimes  with 
judges  and  jurors  of  the  Tribunal.  People  came  to  give 
him  an  account  of  the  executions  that  had  taken  place. 
He  would  ask  the  usher  if  there  had  been  many  people 
there.  On  the  usher's  affirmative,  he  would  shrug  his 
shoulders,  saying  :  "  When  will  this  end  ?  What  a  wretched 
trade  !     I  would  prefer  to  go  and  labour  in  the  fields." 

She  sometimes  went  to  the  sessions  of  the  Tribunal. 
She  saw  Dumas  preventing  the  accused  from  defending 
themselves.  Fouquier  said  to  the  President  :  "  Let  the 
accused  persons  speak." 

On  the  9th  of  Thermidor,  Fouquier  did  not  dine  in  the 
refreshment-room.  She  saw  him  in  his  own  rooms,  about 
six  o'clock  in  the  evening,  with  his  wife.  About  half-past 
eight  or  nine,  Fouquier  came  to  the  refreshment-room  to 
drink  a  bottle  of  beer,  "  as  he  usually  did  in  the  evening." 
He  asked  Botot-Dumesnil  what  was  happening.  He 
remained  until  eleven  o'clock  at  night  and  returned  to  the 
refreshment-room  at  two  o'clock  in  the  morning.  He  then 
went  to  bed.  She  heard  "  no  conversation  of  Fouquier's 
at  that  time  because  she  herself  was  asleep." 


228  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

Of  Dumas,  he  used  to  say  :  "  He  is  a  beggar  who  cannot 
last  long."  She  never  heard  Fouquier  speak  in  her  presence 
of  the  conspiracies  in  the  prisons. 

Charles  Gombert  Bertrand,  aged  41,  a  former  janitor  at 
the  Luxembourg,  1  had  had  no  intercourse  with  Fouquier- 
Tinville.  He  saw  him  at  the  Tribunal.  After  the  law  of  the 
22nd  of  Prairial.  he  heard  Fouquier,  in  his  capacity  of 
Public  Prosecutor,  cross-examining  the  accused.  He  let 
them  answer  freely. 

Armand  jMartial  Joseph  Herman,  aged  about  36,  residing 
at  No.  19,  Place  des  Piques,  the  ex-President  of  the  Revo- 
lutionary Tribunal,  who  had  presided  over  the  trial  of  Marie 
Antoinette  and  at  the  Danton  case,  declared  that  "  all  the 
deeds  with  which  Fouquier  was  charged  being  subsequent 
to  his  own  departure  from  the  Tribunal,  he  could  give  no 
information  in  regard  to  them."  While  he  was  President 
of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal,  no  complaint  or  no  informa- 
tion against  Fouquier  reached  him.  "  He  would  have  been 
very  pleased  if  there  had  been  a  little  more  order  in  his 
work,"  but  he  knew  no  fact  which  could  be  imputed  to  him 
as  a  crime,  no  betrayal  of  his  functions. 

As  to  the  conspiracy  in  the  prisons,  he  only  knew  it  as 
Commissioner  for  the  Administration  of  Civil  Affairs, 
Pohce,  and  Tribunals.^  He  had  had  to  make  inquiries 
on  the  subject  of  that  conspiracy.  He  believed  that 
Fouquier  accompanied  Citizen  Lanne  ^  once  or  twice  on  his 
visits  of  inquiry  to  the  prisons.  He  could  not  say  in  what 
manner  those  inquiries  were  made.  "  He  Uked  to  think 
that  those  two  functionaries  carried  out  their  duty  in  this 
respect."  He,  Herman,  said  that  he  had  never  been  in  the 
prisons. 

Joseph  Verney,  aged  28,  residing  at  No.  311,  Rue  Geoffroy- 
I'Angevin,  Section  de  la  Reunion,  had  been  a  basketmaker  in 
1790,  1791,  and  1792.    After  August  3rd,  1793,  he  became  a 

*  He  had  not  been  janitor  since  the  i8th  of  Thermidor. 

*  A  post  to  which  he  was  appointed  after  the  condemnation  of  the 
Dantonists. 

»  Herman's  assistant. 


THE    PRISONERS    OF    BICETRE  229 

turnkey  at  the  Luxembourg.  Since  then  he  had  performed 
the  duties  of  janitor  at  Saint-Lazare  until  the  28th  of 
Thermidor.  He  said  that  he  had  no  intercourse  with 
Fouquier-Tinville.i  When  he  was  at  the  Luxembourg, 
he  saw  only  once,  on  the  night  between  the  i8th  and  19th 
of  Messidor,  a  hst  brought  by  an  usher.  This  list  contained 
the  names  of  more  than  a  hundred  "  individuals  "  who  were 
transferred  to  the  Conciergerie.  It  was  signed  "  Fouquier," 
and  bore  the  seal  of  the  Tribunal.  Those  who  were  on  the 
list  did  not  appear  again  at  the  Luxembourg,  with  the 
exception  of  nine  or  ten  who  were  acquitted. 

Joseph  Honore  Vonschriltz,^  aged  28,  residing  at  Paris, 
in  the  Place  and  Section  des  Droits  de  1' Homme,  a  police 
inspector  for  the  past  year,  and  a  carpenter  before  the 
Revolution,  saw  Fouquier-Tinville  only  once  when  he  came 
to  Bic^tre  accompanied  by  a  detachment  of  gendarmes  on 
foot,  and  several  vehicles  to  take  away  the  prisoners  who 
were  summoned  to  the  Conciergerie  and  executed  the  day 
following,  "  with  the  exception  of  four  or  six  who  assisted 
as  witnesses,"  ^  and  were  brought  back  to  Bicetre.  The 
others  were  executed  as  accomplices  in,  or  authors  of,  a 
conspiracy  hatched  at  Bicetre.  However,  Vonschriltz 
had  noticed  "  no  trace  of  conspiracy  "  in  that  house.  He 
saw  nothing  but  submission  among  the  prisoners.  Dupont, 
the  police  oihcial  whose  rigour  made  the  prisoners  groan, 
had,  along  with  Fouquier,  caused  a  table  to  be  placed  in  the 
courtyard.  They  had  a  list  of  those  whom  they  wanted  to 
enter  their  vehicles.     Fouquier  took  them  away.^ 

Pierre  Nicolas  Vergne,  aged  36,  secretary  and  justice  of 
the  peace  of  the  Lepelletier  Section,  and  afterwards  member 
of  the  Revolutionary  Committee  of  that  section,  residing  at 

»  This  is  contradicted  by  the  facts.  A  document  exists  (Archives 
Nationales,  W.  500,  2nd  dossier,  p.  28)  which  is  nothing  else  than  the 
information  laid  by  Verney  against  twenty  prisoners  in  the  Luxem- 
bourg, written  in  Fouquier's  hand,  and  approved  of  and  signed  by 
Verney. 

»  This  is  how  he  signed  himself. 

»  Police  spies.     See  Chapter  III. 

*  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  45  bis,  folios  7  to  12. 


230  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

No.  7,  Rue  Favart,  never  had  anything  in  particular  to  do 
with  Fouquier-Tinville. 

He  knew  him  as  Pubhc  Prosecutor.  He  had  sometimes 
been  present  at  the  hearings  of  the  Revokitionary  Tribunal. 
He  never  saw  Fouquier  sitting  at  them.  He  used  to  bring 
him,  as  member  of  the  Revolutionary  Committee,  documents 
for  the  prosecution  or  for  the  defence  of  indicted  persons. 
Fouquier  handed  them  over  to  a  clerk  who  counted  them. 
Vergne  made  him  give  a  receipt  for  them.  On  a  single 
occasion  he  dined  with  Fouquier,  whom  he  did  not  yet 
know.  It  was  about  the  month  of  June,  1793,  on  a  Sunday 
when  all  the  constituted  authorities  of  Paris  had  gone 
to  the  Convention.  There  were  seven  or  eight  persons  at 
that  dinner,  "  among  others  Montane,  then  President  of 
the  Tribunal ;  Paris,  the  registrar  ;  and  Chretien,  a  juror." 
There  was  no  reference  made  to  anything  in  particular. 

The  judge  asked  Vergne  if  he  had  no  private  conversation 
with  Fouquier  at  the  time  of  the  attempt  on  CoUot  d'Herbois 
by  Admiral. 

"  What  idea  had  you  of  that  affair,  and  what  idea  had 
Fouquier  of  it  ?  " 

"  On  that  day,  about  six  or  seven  o'clock  in  the  morning. 
Admiral  was  examined.  Accompanied  by  Chretien,  the 
juror,  and  another  member  of  the  Revolutionary  Committee 
of  the  Section,  I  went  to  take  Fouquier  the  declarations  of 
those  who  were  present  at  the  moment  of  Admiral's  attempt, 
as  well  as  Admiral's  repUes.  We  found  Fouquier  in  bed. 
We  handed  him  the  documents.  Fouquier  asked  us  if  we 
did  not  believe  this  attempt  was  '  the  result  of  a  more 
extensive  plot.'  We  answered  that  we  did  not  think  so." 
Vergne,  although  summoned,  was  not  heard  as  a  witness 
in  that  case. 

Pierre  Joseph  Boyaval,^  aged  26,  detained  in  the  Hospice 
National,  a  tailor,  and  before  his  arrest  a  lieutenant  of  light 
infantry,  detained  since  the  20th  of  Brumaire  in  the  year  II., 
first  in  the  Luxembourg,  then  in  Sainte-Pelagie  and  the 
Plessis,  and  lastly  in  the  Hospice,  was  an  old  habitue  of  the 

1  He  signs  thus. 


A   PRISON    SPY  231 

prisons  of  the  Terror.  But  he  had  not  suffered  much  from 
this.     We  have  seen  that  he  served  as  a  prison  spy. 

He  declared  that  on  the  19th  of  Messidor,  Fouquier,  as 
Pubhc  Prosecutor,  sent  him  to  the  Luxembourg  to  make 
inquiries  together  with  Beausire,  Armance,  Vauchelet, 
Juhen,  Meunier,  Lenain,  Boispereuse,  and  Benoit.^  Fouquier 
asked  him  his  name,  and  said  to  him  :  "  You  are  going  to 
appear  at  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal.  You  must  speak 
in  the  way  you  know." 

Then  he  was  sent  back.  On  the  21st  of  the  same  month, 
Fouquier  sent  for  the  witnesses.  He  went  to  the  Public 
Prosecutor's  room,  accompanied  by  a  gendarme.  He 
handed  him  the  letter  which  a  prisoner  in  the  Luxembourg 
had  entrusted  to  him.  He  had  no  conversation  with  him. 
On  the  same  day,  a  little  later,  he  asked  to  speak  again  with 
Fouquier.  A  gendarme  accompanied  him.  Fouquier  made 
him  wait  for  an  hour  in  a  corridor.  When  the  Prosecutor, 
who  had  been  conversing  with  Coffinhal,  was  free,  Boyaval 
asked  permission  to  go  and  dine  with  his  relatives,  under 
the  guard  of  a  gendarme.     Fouquier  refused. 

On  the  22nd  of  Messidor,  Fouquier  sent  him  again  to 
inquire,  always  with  the  same  witnesses.  But  he  did  not 
speak  to  him.  Boyaval  had  since  written  many  letters  to 
Fouquier  "  to  denounce  "  to  him  facts  relating  to  a  con- 
spiracy of  300  prisoners,  "on  the  first  floor  of  the  Luxem- 
bourg."    He  never  received  a  reply.  ^ 

Antoine  Vauchelet,  aged  32,  a  merchant  in  Paris,  at  No.  2, 
Rue  du  Gros-Chenet,  Section  Brutus,  had  never  known 
Fouquier.  But  Vauchelet,  like  Boyaval,  was  an  habitue 
of  the  prisons.  Like  Boyaval  he  had  rendered  services. 
He,  too,  was  a  police  spy.  During  his  detention  in  the 
Luxembourg,  which  lasted  from  September  9th,  1793,  to  the 
27th  of  Thermidor  following,  he  "  thought  he  noticed  that 
Verney,  turnkey  in  the  house  of  detention,  had  intercourse 
with  Fouquier."  He  boasted  of  going  to  see  him.  Boyaval 
had  said  to  him,  Vauchelet,  that  there  were  still  many 

1  Other  police  spies. 

*  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  45  bis,  folios  12  to  16. 


232   THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

conspirators,  a  list  of  whom  Fouquier  had  asked  of 
him. 

On  the  igth  of  Messidor,  when  summoned  as  a  witness 
to  the  Tribunal,  he  had  seen  Boyaval  going  into  Fouquier's 
room.  On  the  same  day  he  saw,  "  with  astonishment," 
among  the  accused  persons,  a  certain  Morin,^  who  had 
reached  the  Conciergerie  two  days  before  and  been  brought 
before  the  Tribunal  as  the  result  of  an  error  in  the  names. 
This  Morin  made  a  remark  about  it  to  Fouquier,  who 
answered ' '  that  in  truth  Morin  was  not  the  man  he  sought,  but 
that  he  held  him  and  would  keep  him."  At  that  moment 
"  the  true  Morin,"  he  whom  they  sought,  made  his  appear- 
ance. Fouquier  had  him  placed  among  the  accused  per- 
sons, "entered  verbal  pleading  against  him  at  the  hearing, 
without  any  other  writ  of  indictment  being  deUvered  to  the 
accused  man,  who  was  condemned  with  the  rest."  The 
first  Morin  withdrew  from  the  Court,  but  was  again  placed 
on  trial  the  next  day,  and  condemned  like  his  namesake. 

Vauchelet  was  anxious  to  place  on  Verney  and  Boyaval 
all  responsibility  for  the  "  denunciations  "  made  to  Fouquier, 
and  instigated  by  the  Pubhc  Prosecutor.  He  said  that 
Fouquier  "  used  to  keep  Boyaval  back  "  and  remain  in 
secret  conversation  with  him.  But  Boyaval  denied  that  he 
had  private  conversations  with  Fouquier. 

Which  of  these  two  wretches  are  we  to  beheve,  both  of 
them  ready  for  anything,  and  seeking  by  accusing  others 
to  extricate  themselves  from  a  difficult  position  ? 

Vauchelet  affirmed  that,  being  summoned  a  second  time 
as  a  witness,  on  a  day  when  Fouquier  was  not  at  the  hearing 
of  the  case,  all  the  witnesses  were  heard.  "  Six  of  the 
witnesses,"  he  says,  "  of  whom  I  was  one,  spoke  in  favour 
of  fourteen  or  fifteen  accused  persons,  and  defended  them 
with  heat."  Eleven  were  acquitted  out  of  forty-five. 
A  juror  (whom  he  did  not  know)  remarked  to  him  that  he 
ought  to  recapitulate  and  point  out  the  accomphces  in  the 
Grammont  Conspiracy. 

Pierre  Marie  Bhgny,  Fouquier's  successor  as  procurator  at 
»  See    Chapter    III.,    p.  86, 


A    CRUEL    CHANGE  233 

the  Chatelet,  residing  at  No.  297  Rue  Neuve-Egalite,  Section 
Bonne-Nouvelle,  declared  that  he  knew  Citizen  Fouquier 
in  September,  1783,  "  a  period  when  he  negotiated  the  sale 
of  a  procurator's  office  and  practice  in  the  former  Chatelet, 
which  Fouquier  held ;  that  motives  of  interest  placed 
him  in  a  position  not  to  see  Fouquier  for  more  than  ten  years  ; 
that  the  position  of  Public  Prosecutor  at  the  Tribunal  of 
the  Department  necessitated  the  witness  seeing  Fou- 
quier in  regard  to  a  matter  in  which  he  was  counsel." 
He  saw  him  several  times  in  his  capacity  as  defender  when 
Fouquier  was  Public  Prosecutor  of  the  Revolutionary 
Tribunal.  He  spoke  to  him  only  about  the  cases 
with  which  he  was  entrusted,  and  about  nothing  else. 
He  declared  that  he  had  no  knowledge  of  the  conspiracies 
in  the  prisons,  nor  of  "  what  was  called  firing  an  uninter- 
rupted volley,"  as  he  had  no  cases  at  the  Revolutionary 
Tribunal  for  about  a  year. 

Pierre  Athanase  Pepin  Degrouhette,^  aged  43,  a  lawyer, 
an  official  defender,  President  of  the  Tribunal  established 
on  August  17th,  1792,  residing  in  Paris  at  No.  25  Rue  du 
Sentier,  Section  Brutus,  knew  Fouquier  in  September,  1792, 
as  director  of  the  jury  d' accusation,  of  which  he,  Pepin,  was 
one  of  the  presidents.  He  lost  sight  of  him  and  found  him 
again  at  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal.  Pepin-Degrouhette 
used  to  defend  accused  persons. 

During  the  first  six  or  seven  months  of  the  existence 
of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal,  he  found  Fouquier  "  very 
accessible  to  the  complaints  of  unfortunate  persons,  very 
easy  in  granting  the  delays  necessary  for  preparing  the 
defence  of  the  accused,  for  fetching  documents  and  witnesses 
for  the  defence."  But  towards  the  end  of  1793  and  in  the 
first  months  of  the  year  IL,  "  things  changed  cruelly." 
Fouquier  "  became  unapproachable."  The  days  when  the 
accused  were  to  appear  in  court  were  concealed  from  the 
defenders.  The  indictments  were  served  on  the  evening 
before  the  trial,  and  sometimes  late  at  night.  The  unhappy 
prisoners  often  went  into  the  dock  without  their  defenders 

*  He    signs   thus. 


234  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

and  without  their  evidence.  Pepin-Degrouhette  complained 
vehemently  of  this  to  Fouquier.  The  latter  burst  out 
imgrily  and  said  on  different  occasions  :  "  I  can  do  nothing 
about  it.     My  hand  is  forced." 

On  the  2nd  of  Floreal  in  the  year  IL,  Pepin  was  arrested 
and  taken  to  Saint-Lazare.  His  wife  went  the  next  day 
to  find  Fouquier  and  beg  him  not  to  bring  to  trial  the  accused 
persons  whom  her  husband  was  commissioned  to  defend. 
Fouquier  received  her  very  brutally,  and  said  "  that  he  would 
not  stop  the  course  of  justice  for  her  husband."  Several 
citizens  were,  in  fact,  tried  and  condemned  whilst  the  evi- 
dence was  under  seals  affixed  at  Pepin-Degrouhette's  house. 

In  the  case  of  the  Saint-Lazare  conspiracy,  which  occupied 
the  court  for  three  days,  Fouquier  only  sat  on  the  first  day. 
He  appeared  to  be  less  unmerciful  than  Liendon  who  sat 
on  the  other  two  days.^ 

Jean  Henry  Voulland,  aged  43,  Representative  of  the 
people  residing  at  No.  108,  Rue  Croix-des-Petits-Champs, 
liad  no  association  with  Fouquier  except  such  as  he  might 
have  in  his  capacity  as  member  of  the  Committee  of  General 
Security.  He  could  give  no  evidence  for  the  prosecution 
or  the  defence.  ^ 

Another  Deputy,  Andre  Amar,  aged  38,  representing  the 
Department  of  the  Isere,  and  a  member  of  the  Committee 
of  General  Security,  could  not  say  whether  Fouquier  held 
private  intercourse  with  Robespierre.  He  strongly  sus- 
pected that  Maximihen  had  a  good  deal  of  influence  over 
Fouquier,  Coffinhal,  and  Dumas,  and  more  particularly 
over  the  last  two  than  over  Fouquier.  He  remembered 
seeing  at  the  Committee  of  General  Security  an  information 
in  which  Fouquier  was  accused  of  having  dined  on  the  9th 
of  Thermidor  with  Coffinhal  and  Dumas.  ^  This  information 
was  sent  to  the  Tribunal  with  aU  the  documents  for 
Fouquier's  prosecution.     He  knew  nothing  more. 

Claude   Emmanuel   Dobsen,    aged   53,    twice    President 

1  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  45  bis,  folios  16  to  18. 
*  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  45  ter,  folio  i. 
»  This  is  true  as  regards  Coffinhal,  but  false  concerning  Dumas, 
as  he  had  just  been  arrested  on  that  day.     (See  Chapter  IV.) 


A    MOCKERY  235 

of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal,  residing  at  No.  7 a  Rue  du 
Cloitre-Notre-Dame,  Section  de  la  Cite,  had  been  Fouquier's 
colleague  as  director  of  the  jury  d'accusatio7i.  Appointed 
President  of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal  in  place  of  Mon- 
tane, "  he  had  the  most  intimate  intercourse  with  Fouquier." 
He  never  "  noticed  anything  in  him  contrary  to  the  princi- 
ples of  the  strictest  justice."  Dobsen  only  left  the  Tribunal 
in  virtue  of  the  decree  of  the  22nd  of  Prairial  which  did  not 
re-elect  him. 

When  Herman,  the  President,  was  appointed  Minister 
of  the  Interior,  Dumas  "  President  in  Chief,"  and  Scelher 
and  Cofhnhal  Vice-Presidents,  from  that  moment  the  form 
of  the  proceedings  changed.  It  seemed  to  Dobsen  that 
Dumas  directed  all  the  operations.  He  heard  him  complain 
several  times  of  Fouquier-Tinville  and  of  the  fact  that  he 
did  not  "  place  a  greater  number  of  people  on  trial  at  once." 
Since  the  22nd  of  Prairial  he  sometimes  frequented  the 
Tribunal.  He  saw  with  horror  almost  all  the  accused 
persons  tried  without  having  any  facilities  for  bringing 
forward  their  defence.  He  even  saw  a  large  number  tried, 
in  regard  to  whom  this  was  confined  to  asking  them  their 
names  and  conditions.  The  pleadings  were  then  closed, 
the  questions  put  to  the  jury,  and  condemnation  pronounced. 
Several  times,  when  he  came  to  the  Palace,  before  the 
hearing  had  even  begun,  he  saw,  collected  in  the  courtyard, 
vehicles  intended  to  take  the  condemned  to  the  scaffold.^ 

Denis  Michel  Julhen,  aged  30,  merchant,  residing  at 
No.  12,  Quai  de  Chaillot,  Section  des  Champs-Elysees, 
gave  evidence  similar  to  that  of  Vauchelet.  It  was  the  story 
of  the  conspiracy  in  the  prisons.  Like  Vauchelet,  like 
Amans,  like  Beausire,  like  Boyaval,  etc.,  he  was  summoned 
from  the  Luxembourg,  where  he  was  detained,  as  a  witness 
before  the  Tribunal.  He,  too,  acted  the  part  of  a  pohce 
spy.  Like  the  others,  he  boasted  of  having  saved  accused 
persons  by  his  evidence.  He  gave  evidence  against  Dumas, 
but  said  nothing  about  Fouquier-Tinville. 2 

^  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  45  ter,  folio  i. 

»  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  45  ier,  folios  i  and  2. 


CHAPTER    XI 

fouquier-tinville's  second  trial:   continuation 

of  the  inquiry 

AS  the  inquiry  advanced,  the  judge  shortened  the 
examinations  of  the  witnesses. 
From  the  evidence  we  have  analysed  in  the  pre- 
ceding chapter,  there  result  rather  contradictory 
opinions.  Many  witnesses  are  crushing,  in  their  answers,  in 
regard  to  the  moral  conduct  of  the  Public  Prosecutor. 
Others,  on  the  contrary,  such  as  Chateau  and  ex-President 
Dobsen,  are  clearly  favourable  to  him.  "  Never,"  Dobsen 
had  said,  "  did  I  notice  anything  in  him  that  could  be 
contrary  to  the  principles  of  the  strictest  justice."^ 

On  the  19th  of  Ventose  there  came  forward  a  witness 
who  owed  it  to  his  father's  wonderful  devotion  that  he  was 
still  living.  This  is  young  LoizeroUes  (Fran9ois  Simon), 
aged  24,  in  the  29th  division  of  police.  We  know  his 
story.2  He  stated,  very  simply,  that  he  had  never  seen 
Fouquier-Tinville.  But  he  knew  and  was  sure  that  his 
father  was  tried  and  condemned  by  the  Tribunal  on  the  8th 
of  Thermidor  in  the  year  II.  (a  day  before  Robespierre's 
fall),  on  a  writ  of  indictment  issued  against  himself,  the  son. 
LoizeroUes,  the  father,  an  ex-Lieutenant-General  of  the 
bailiwick  of  the  Arsenal,  did  not  protest  and  went  to  death 
to  save  his  son.  "  By  an  error  as  extraordinary  as  in- 
explicable,"  said    young  LoizeroUes,   "  it   was  my  father 

'  Dobsen,  the  President  of  the  Section  de  la  Cite,  had  presided 
on  May  30,  1793,  over  the  insurrectional  assembly  of  the  commis- 
sioners of  the  majority  of  the  sections,  who  met  at  the  Hotel  de  Villa 
and  declared  the  people  in  a  state  of  insurrection.  He  was  a  Heber- 
tist  in  his  opinions.  Perhaps  his  evidence,  so  favourable  to  Fouquier, 
came  in  part  from  the  animosity  he  felt  against  the  new  Tribunal 
because  he  had  not  been  re-appointed  to  it. 

*  See  Chapter  III.,  p.  99,  and  Note  p.  98. 

236 


AN    ACT    OF    MERCY  237 

whom  the  jury  condemned,  a  mistake  all  the  more  ridiculous 
(sic)  as  my  father  was  sixty  years  old  and  I  was  only  twenty- 
two.  The  Pubhc  Prosecutor,  the  judges,  and  the  jurors 
could  easily  have  noticed  this  blunder  if  they  had  only 
looked  at  my  father.  "^ 

Francois  Urbain  Meunier,  aged  50,  captain  on  half-pay 
in  the  104th  regiment,  of  No.  5,  Quai  d'Ecole,  Section  du 
Museum,  was  imprisoned  in  the  Luxembourg  for  nine 
months.  He  was  summoned  to  the  Tribunal  as  a  witness 
in  the  conspiracy  case.  He  was  one  of  the  four  police  spies 
who  were  heard  against  a  large  number  of  accused  persons. 
He  affirmed  that  he  knew  nothing  and  said  nothing.  He 
thought  that  at  the  hearing  Fouquier  performed  the  duties 
of  Public  Prosecutor.     He  was  not  sure  of  this. 

An  official  defender,  Bernard  Jean  Louis  Malarme,^ 
aged  44,  residing  at  No.  531,  Rue  des  Prouvaires,  Section 
du  Contrat-Social,  spoke  of  the  release  of  prisoners  due  to 
Fouquier  (Sarce,  an  ex-captain,  and  Bayard  La  Vingtrie, 
lieutenant  of  the  bailiwick).  Fouquier,  on  a  letter  from 
Guffroy,  the  Representative  of  the  people,  placed  on  one 
side  the  papers  relating  to  Citizen  Dupuy,  an  employee  in 
the  Committee  of  General  Security,  ""  whilst  waiting  for 
a  more  favourable  opportunity."     This  saved  Dupuy. 

When  Malarme  recognised  that  his  position  as  official 
defender  at  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal  had  become  useless, 
he  had  himself  appointed  secretary  in  the  prosecutor's 
office,  "  to  take  charge  of  the  correspondence  there."  He 
could  thus  observe  Fouquier's  activity  and  his  constant 
obedient  attention  to  the  orders  he  received  from  the 
governing  committees.  He  could  also  observe,  as  did  the 
whole  staff  in  the  office,  "  with  what  repugnance  Fouquier 
saw  artisans  and  labourers  placed  on  trial." 

He  saw  Vadier,  Amar,  and  others  in  Fouquier's  private 
room,  but  was  never  present  at  their  conversations.  He 
affirmed  that  he  placed  aside  "  in  his  possession "  the 
documents  relating  to  the  ninety-four  inhabitants  of  Nantes. 

'  Archives  Nationales,  W.  100,  3rd  dossier,  p.  45  ter,  folio  2. 
*  He   signs    thus. 


238  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

Fouquier  had  always  given  heed  to  the  representations 
which  he  made  in  their  favour. 

He  thought  he  noticed  that  Dumas  was  Fouquier's  enemy. 
Twice  on  the  night  between  the  gth  and  loth  of  Thermidor, 
the  ex-Pubhc  Prosecutor  sent  him  to  the  Committee  of 
Pubhc  Safety  to  tell  that  Committee  that  he  was  at  his  post 
at  the  Tribunal.  When  he  came  back,  he  found  Fouquier 
having  supper  with  the  attendant  in  the  refreshment-room, 
Morisan,  his  family,  and  Gillier,  one  of  his  secretaries  and 
Morisan's  son-in-law. 

Next  there  came  to  give  evidence,  Pierre  Francois  Morisan, 
aged  54,  wine-seller  and  attendant  in  the  refreshment-room. 
He  kept  the  Cafe  des  Subsistances  in  the  hall  of  the  Palace. 
He  formerly  kept  the  refreshment -room  "  in  one  of  the 
towers,  near  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal." 

Morisan  repeated  what  his  wife  and  daughter  said.  Fou- 
quier often  took  his  meals  at  their  place.  He  believed  he 
saw  in  him  "  much  zeal  and  activity."  He  heard  him 
complain  that  he  performed  "  painful  functions,"  and  even 
showed  "  some  fears  on  his  own  account." 

He  had  not  been  present  at  sessions  of  the  Tribunal 
"  since  the  period  when  a  great  number  of  accused  persons 
began  to  be  tried  there  at  once,  because  this  multitude  of 
prisoners  or  witnesses  caused  a  great  crowd  at  his  place, 
and  this  obhged  him  to  remain  and  serve  them."  On 
several  occasions  he  furnished  the  accused  with  refresh- 
ments and  food,  by  order  of  Fouquier,  Dumas,  or  others. 

Fouquier  would  say  to  him  :  "  There  have  been  so  many 
of  them  to-day.  There  will  be  thirty  more  of  them  to-morrow. 
I  understand  nothing  of  all  this." 

Morisan  remarked  "  that  so  great  a  quantity  of  the 
accused  must  tire  him  out."  He  asked  him  how  he  was  able 
to  hold  out.  Fouquier  answered  :  "  What  would  you  have 
me  do  ?  I  have  orders  from  the  Committee  of  Public 
Safety." 

On  the  evening  of  the  9th  of  Thermidor,  Fouquier  said 
to  him  :  "  For  my  part,  I  remain  at  my  post." 

Next  there  came  forward  a  sinister  figure  of  a  prisoner. 


THE    BICETRE    CONSPIRACY  239 

In  order  to  get  better  treatment,  to  give  himself  importance, 
or  from  fear,  or  to  obtain  his  hberty,  he  had  become  a 
pohce  spy. 

He  was  Joseph  Manini,  aged  47  ;  he  called  himself  a  man 
of  letters.  He  had  been  imprisoned  for  more  than  sixteen 
months.  Just  now,  he  was  at  La  Bourbe  or  Port-Libre.  He 
mentioned  the  prisons  in  which  he  had  been  incarcerated — 
the  Madelonettes  (four  months),  Saint-Lazare  (five  to  six 
months),  the  Plessis  (from  the  2nd  of  Thermidor  until  about 
the  22nd  of  Frimaire),  the  Luxembourg,  and  then  Port- 
Libre  where  he  was  at  present  confined.  He  related  what 
he  knew  of  the  conspiracies,  his  relations  with  Coquery, 
another  pohce  spy,  the  conversations  he  had  overheard  and 
reported.  He  thought  that  at  one  of  the  hearings  to  which 
he  came  as  a  witness,  Fouquier  performed  the  duties  of 
Pubhc  Prosecutor.  "  The  accused  persons  spoke  for  as  long 
as  they  wished  without  being  interrupted,  except  one, 
who  defended  himself  with  sarcasms  and  insults  directed 
against  the  Tribunal." 

Fran9ois  Dupaumie,^  aged  thirty-five  and  a  half,  jeweller, 
of  No.  124,  Rue  de  la  Verrerie,  imprisoned  in  the  Plessis 
since  the  24th  of  Brumaire,  saw  Fouquier  come  one  day, 
about  the  end  of  Prairial  or  the  beginning  of  Messidor, 
with  a  detachment  of  pohce  and  three  vehicles,  to  Bic^tre, 
of  which  Dupaumie  was  governor.  There  Fouquier  had  a 
table  placed  in  one  of  the  courtyards.  He  drew  out  a  list, 
and  summoned  thirty-six  or  thirty-seven  persons  who  had 
been  informed  against  by  prisoners  who  were  sentenced  to 
chains.     This  was  the  Bicetre  conspiracy.- 

Dupaumie  took  care  to  exonerate  himself  from  any  share 
in  this  act  of  Fouquier.  He  affirmed  that,  so  long  as  he  was 
governor  of  Bicetre,  the  house  was  "  perfectly  quiet  "  ; 
that  he  noticed  no  conspiracy.  Fouquier  said  to  him  : 
*'  I  have  been  present  at  the  hearing  when  thirty-six  or 
thirty-seven  individuals  were  condemned.  I  knew  that  the 
witnesses  were  scamps.  The  prisoners  would  not  have  been 
condemned  if  they  themselves  had  not  confessed  they  had 
'  He  signs  thus.  *  See  Chapter  III. 


240  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

conspired  against  the  Convention,  and  had  not  thrown  the 
responsibiUty  for  this  fact  on  one  another. ^ 

Jean  Advenier,  aged  forty-nine,  an  assistant  in  the 
depository  of  miUtary  provisions  and  forage  at  Orleans,  had 
been  secretary  in  the  prosecutor's  ofhce  from  October  in  the 
year  H.  (sic)  until  after  the  9th  of  Thermidor.  "  In  the 
early  days,"  he  forwarded  writs  of  indictment.  After  the 
22nd  of  Prairial,  he  heard  Dumas  and  Coffinhal  say  to  accused 
persons  who  tried  to  defend  themselves  : — "  You  have  no 
right  to  speak." 

He  never  saw  Fouquier  demanding  this  right  for  them. 

He  saw  Voulland,  Vadier  and  Amar  coming  fairly  often  to 
Fouquier's  room,  and  shutting  themselves  up  "  carefully  " 
with  him.  He  often  saw  members  of  the  Revolutionary  Com- 
mittees come  and  ask  Fouquier  for  warrants  to  arrest  per- 
sons. Fouquier  would  answer  them :  "Bring  me  the  reports 
and  documents  which  state  the  offences  and  I  will  deliver 
them  to  you.  But  I  do  not  want  to  deliver  them  to  you 
officially.'  He  sometimes  saw  Fouquier  "  lamenting  the 
fate  of  some  condemned  person." 

Jean  Baptiste  Toussaint  Beausire,  aged  thirty-three  and 
a  half,  living  on  his  income  at  Choisy-sur-Seine,  had  been  im- 
prisoned in  the  Luxembourg,  in  Sainte-Pelagie,  in  the  Plessis, 
and  in  the  Hospice  de  I'Eveche.^  He  gave  evidence  at 
length  on  what  he  knew  about  the  conspiracies,  and  he 
ended  thus  :  "  On  the  19th  of  Messidor  I  heard  the  man  who 
performed  the  duties  of  Pubhc  Prosecutor  at  that  hearing 
say,  '  The  Morin  who  is  here  is  not  the  man  who  was  to  be 
placed  on  trial.  But  as  I  have  been  looking  for  him  for  a 
long  time  I  do  not  want  to  let  him  escape.'  This  Morin  was 
placed  on  trial.  No  witness  spoke  against  him.  He  was, 
nevertheless,  condemned  with  the  rest."^ 

Jean  Baptiste  Vergnhes,  aged  67,  living  on  his  income  in 
Paris,  at  No.  i,  Ouai  d'Egalite,  He  de  la  Fraternite,  gave  an 

»  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  45  ter,  folio  3  and  46. 
folios  I  and  2. 

2  Beausire  is  the  husband  of  the  woman  d'Ohva  (of  the  Diamond 
Necklace  affair).     In  prison  he  played  the  part  of  a  police  spy. 

=•  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  46,  folios  2  to  6. 


FAVOUR.\BLE    TESTIMONY  241 

account  of  the  dinner  that  took  place  at  his  house  on  the  9th 
of  Thermidor.i 

Jacques  Marie  Botot-Dumesnil,  aged  36,  commander 
of  pohce  of  the  Tribunal,  residing  at  No.  4,  Cloitre  Notre- 
Dame,  Section  de  la  Cite,  had  no  intercourse  with  Fouquier 
except  in  so  far  as  related  to  the  maintenance  of  order  within 
the  precincts  of  the  Palace  of  Justice.  Fouquier  never  spoke 
to  him  except  a  few  chance  words.  Every  evening  one  or  two 
gendarmes  accompanied  him  to  the  Committee  of  PubHc 
Safety,  waited  for  him  until  very  late  at  night,  and  came 
back  with  him. 

On  the  9th  of  Thermidor,  about  four  o'clock  in  the  evening, 
Botot-Dumesnil,  was  arrested  in  the  middle  of  his  troop, 
by  order  of  Hanriot,  Fleuriot  and  Payan.  Set  at  liberty 
the  same  evening  by  order  of  the  Committee  of  General 
Security,  he  returned  about  eight  or  nine  o'clock  ;  he  was 
then  sent  for  by  Fouquier,  whom  he  found  in  the  refresh- 
ment-room, seemingly  ignorant  of  what  was  taking  place. 
He  heard  him  say  several  times  : — "  Whatever  they  do,  -I 
remain  at  my  post." 

Guillaume  Alexandre  Tronson-Ducoudray,  aged  44,  a 
lawyer,  of  No.  17,  Rue  des  Victoires  Nationales,  Section 
Guillaume-Tell,  thought  he  remembered  that  in  the  Leonard 
Bourdon  case. 2  Fouquier-Tinville  was  not  so  violent  in  his 
speech  for  the  prosecution  as  he  was  in  other  cases  later  on. 
"  He  seemed  to  him  in  those  cases  to  exceed  the  bounds  of 
moderation  and  impartiality  becoming  to  his  office  every 
time  that  the  accused  persons  appeared  to  him  to  have  been 
designated  by  the  Government."  Moreover,  Fouquier  often 
urged  him  not  to  press  for  the  trial  of  accused  persons  whom 
he  had  to  defend.  He  remarked  "  that  the  moment  was  not 
favourable,  and  that  b}^  waiting  some  time  they  might 
perhaps  be  saved." 

Mathurin  Denys  Lainvilie,  aged  47,  an  official  defender  at 
the  Tribunal,  residing  at  No.  354,  Rue  de  Chartres,  Section 

*  We  have  given  an  account  of  it,  from  his  evidence,  in  Chapter  IV. 
»  In  this  case  Tronson-Ducoudray  defended  some  of  the  citizens 
of  Orleans  who  were  accused  (July  12,  1793). 

Q 


242  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

des  Tuileries,  knew  Fouquier  as  a  fellow-student.  He  had 
observ^ed  him  in  his  career  as  procurator  at  the  Chatelet, 
as  director  of  the  jury  d' accusation  of  the  Tribunal  established 
on  August  17,  1792,  and,  finally,  as  Public  Prosecutor  of  the 
Revolutionary  Tribunal. 

He  constantly  attended  the  sessions  of  the  Tribunal  down 
to  Hebert's  trial.  During  that  period  the  official  defenders 
had  every  latitude  for  giving  effect  to  the  means  of  defence  of 
accused  persons.  From  that  moment  (the  date  of  the  begin- 
ning of  what  was  called  "  the  Tribunal's  batches")  he  saw 
that  he  no  longer  had  the  same  latitude  in  pleading  his 
cases.  He  decided  to  tell  people  who  claimed  his  services 
that  he  no  longer  defended  cases  before  that  Tribunal.  He 
was  desirous  of  pointing  out  that  he  ceased  to  plead  because 
of  the  remarks  made  to  him  by  Coffinhal  and  Fouquier. 
Those  two  magistrates  warned  him  "  that  henceforth  official 
defenders  must  be  very  circumspect  in  their  defences  ;  the 
Revolutionary  Tribunal  was  not  so  much  a  tribunal  of 
morality  and  justice  as  a  tribunal  established  to  judge  in 
accordance  with  pronounced  public  opinion  [sic]."'^ 

Louis  Claude  Adnet,^  aged  57,  captain  of  the  police  of  the 
tribunals,  residing  at  No.  120,  Rue  de  la  Harpe,  Section  des 
Thermes,  had  no  intercourse  with  Fouquier-Tinville  except 
in  so  far  as  related  to  the  daily  service  of  the  Tribunal.  He 
sometimes  saw  Fouquier  getting  angry  with  the  ushers  when 
he  did  not  find  those  whom  he  had  asked  them  for.  He 
was  often  present  at  hearings.  From  the  22nd  of  Prairial 
to  the  9th  of  Thermidor  "  persons  were  no  longer  tried,  they 
were  condemned."  Accused  persons  were  barely  asked  their 
names,  their  ages,  and  conditions.  Several  times  he  com- 
plained to  Fouquier  "  of  the  rigours  and  horrors  of  the  assist- 
ant executioner  towards  the  condemned  women."  Fouquier 
answered  him  :   "  What  would  you  have  me  do  ?  " 

However,  Fouquier  caused  one  of  the  executioner's  assist- 
ants to  be  imprisoned  for  twenty-four  hours, 

Fouquier  said  to  him,  on  the  evening  of  the  9th  of  Ther- 

*  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  46,  folios  7  to  13.- 

*  He  signs  thus. 


"STRANGLING   THE    PROCEEDINGS"     243 

raidor,  after  having  acquainted  himself  with  the  events  of 
the  day  :   "I  remain  at  my  post." 

He  refused  to  go  to  the  Commune  in  spite  of  the  soHcita- 
tions  of  certain  persons.  He  asked  several  times  if  "  those 
scamps,  Dumas  and  Cofhnhal,  had  been  arrested."  That 
same  day  Adnet  remarked  to  the  Pubhc  Prosecutor  that  to 
secure  the  execution  of  the  condemned  persons  would 
endanger  the  police.  Fouquier  answered  him  :  "I  cannot 
stop  the  course  of  justice." 

Jean  Baptiste  Christophe  Jullienne,  aged  27,  a  lawyer, 
of  the  Quai  Conti,  near  the  Mint,  frequented  the  Tribunal  a 
great  deal  in  his  capacity  as  official  defender.  He  was  sure 
that,  in  a  great  number  of  cases,  particularly  those  of  the 
Farmers-General  and  the  Members  of  the  Parlements,  the 
haste  was  such  that  well-intentioned  jurors  were  scarcely 
able  to  fit  the  name  of  the  accused  to  the  person  they  had 
before  them.  Several  times  he  saw  the  jurors  declare  them- 
selves sufficiently  informed  when  the  proceedings  had  hardly 
begun. 

"  It  was  what  was  called  '  strangUng  the  proceedings.'  " 

Fouquier  often  prevented  cases  from  coming  to  trial.  He 
would  say  that  the  moment  was  not  favourable.  Several 
persons  thus  owed  him  their  existence. 

Louis  Charles  Hally,  aged  42,  janitor  of  the  Plessis  house 
of  detention.  Rue  Saint- Jacques,  knew  that  Fouquier  went 
there  sometimes  to  make  visits.  Hally  went  to  the  prose- 
cutor's office  to  give  Fouquier  an  account  of  the  state  of 
affairs  in  the  house  of  detention.  The  Public  Prosecutor 
did  not  give  him  a  good  reception.  Manini  and  Coquery, 
summoned  to  the  Tribunal  to  give  evidence  concerning  the 
alleged  conspiracy  in  the  prisons,  came  back  enchanted  with 
the  welcome  that  Fouquier  had  given  them,  so  they  said. 

Gabriel  Nicolas  Monet,  aged  38,  an  usher  of  the  Tribunal, 
frequently  saw  Fouquier  giving  orders  in  his  office  "  with 
great  violence."  He  very  often  erased  names  from  the  lists 
of  the  accused  who  were  to  be  placed  on  trial  next  day,  and 
added  others.  He  used  to  say  he  had  received  orders  from 
the  Committee.     The  ushers,  owing  to  those  charges,  were 


244  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

compelled  to  spend  nights  copying  out  indictments.  They 
were  often  compelled  to  take  in  "  extra  writers  to  work  night 
and  day." 

Sometimes  when  the  indictments  were  very  long  "  and 
many  copies  were  required  for  which  they  had  only  from  the 
evening  until  the  next  day,"  there  came  to  them  from  the 
prosecutor's  office  the  first  folio  of  the  memorandum,  then 
the  second,  then  in  succession  all  the  others  until  the  indict- 
ment was  completed. 

Jean  Louis  Marie  Villain  d'Aubigny,  aged  42,  ex-assistant 
to  the  Minister  of  War  and  General  Agent  for  Military  Trans- 
ports at  Paris,  of  No.  60,  Rue  Montpensier,  at  the  time  de- 
tained at  La  Bourbe,  had  the  following  story  from  Senar, 
who  told  it  to  him  in  the  presence  of  several  persons  at  the 
Luxembourg. 

Senar  was  one  day  with  Fouquier.  They  had  a  discus- 
sion, and  Fouquier  said  to  him  :  "  Do  you  know  that  I  will 
place  you  in  the  dock  ?  " 

"  How  could  you  do  that  ?  You  know  that  I  am  a  patriot, 
and  that  I  have  served  my  country  as  well  as  I  could." 

"  Bah  !  "  answered  Fouquier,  "  what  does  that  matter  ? 
Do  you  not  know  that  when  the  Committee  of  Pubhc  Safety 
has  decided  on  the  death  of  any  one — patriot  or  aristocrat- 
he  has  to  go  through  it  ?  "^ 

Philippe  Marie  Tampon,  aged  30,  judge  of  the  Tribunal 
of  the  Third  Arrondissement,  at  present  in  the  service 
of  the  Criminal  Tribunal  of  the  Department  of  Paris,  heard 
Fouquier  say,  at  the  dinner  on  the  9th  of  Thermidor,  in 
the  house  of  Vergnhes,  when  he  learnt  of  Robespierre's 
arrest :  "  My  post  is  in  the  prosecutor's  office,  where  I  may 
receive  orders  at  any  moment,  and  I  am  going  there. "^ 

Next,  a  man  who  owed  his  hfe  to  an  error  in  the  writ  of 
indictment  came  forward  to  give  evidence  of  this.  His  father 
had  been  guillotined  in  his  place. ^ 

Guy  Marie  Sallier,  aged  31,  a  former  Councillor  in  the 

'  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  46,  folios  13  to  14. 
-  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  64. 
'■>  See  Chapter  II.,  p.  60. 


MISTAKEN    IDENTITY  245 

Parlement  of  Paris,  a  lawyer,  residing  at  No.  7,  Rue  du 
Grand-Chantier,^  Section  de  1' Homme- Arme,  declared  that 
Henry  Guy  Saliier,  ex-President  of  the  Cour  des  Aides,  his 
father,  was  included  by  mistake  in  the  arrest,  made  by  the 
Committee  of  General  Security  on  the  gth  of  Germinal  in 
the  year  II.,  of  the  ex-Presidents  and  Councillors  of  the 
Parlement  of  Paris,  who  were  charged  with  having  signed  or 
adhered  to  the  protests  made  by  the  Vacation  Chamber  of 
that  Parlement.  On  the  29th  of  the  same  month  his  father 
was  examined  before  a  judge  of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal. 
Fouquier  was  present. 

His  father  declared  that  his  name  was  Henry  Guy  Saliier, 
a  former  President  of  the  Cour  des  Aides,  and  said  that  there 
was  an  error  regarding  his  person,  as  he  did  not  belong  to  the 
former  Parlement  of  Paris. 

This  made  no  difference.  A  letter  was  produced  against 
him,  signed  "  SalHer,"  and  couched  in  general  terms,  from 
which  an  alleged  adhesion  to  the  protests  of  the  members  of 
the  Parlement  was  inferred.  He  answered  that  he  did  not 
admit  that  letter  to  be  his,  but  his  son's  (the  witness's). 

Nothing  more  was  said  to  him  about  it.  He  was  con- 
ducted to  the  Conciergerie.  Fouquier,  without  taking  any 
other  information,  hastened  to  make  out  a  writ  of  indict- 
ment, in  which  he  stated  that,  by  resolution  of  the  Committee 
of  General  Security,  Henry  Guy  Saliier,  ex-President  of  the 
Cour  des  Aides,  would  be  charged  before  the  Revolutionary 
Tribunal  with  having  taken  part  in  the  protests  of  the  Vaca- 
tion Chamber  of  the  Parlement  of  Paris.  This  was  false, 
for  the  resolution  of  the  Committee  of  General  Security 
had  mentioned  Saliier,  ex-President  or  Councillor  of  the 
Parlement. 

"  Forgetting  his  first  statement,"  Fouquier  attributed 
the  son's  letter  to  the  father.  He  had  the  father  brought 
to  trial.  The  father  was  condemned  to  death  on  the  day 
following  (the  twenty-fifth  prisoner)  in  spite  of  the  evidence 
and  notwithstanding  his  protests.- 

»  Rue  des  Vieilles-Haudriettes  et  des  Quatre-Fils. 
*  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  64. 


246  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

Louis  Severin  Guyard,  aged  29,  a  farmer  from  Mandres, 
near  Brunoy,  had  been  imprisoned  at  the  Plessis.  He  saw 
Fouquier-Tinville  there  for  the  first  time.  "  He  had  just 
loaded  the  vehicles  with  victims  for  his  Tribunal."  Guyard 
tried  to  speak  to  him  to  beg  him  to  have  him  tried. 
Fouquier  answered  roughly  :  "  You  will  come  in  your  turn. 
You  are  all  scoundrels." 

Fouquier  seemed  to  be  very  familiar  with  Hally,  the 
janitor. 

"  They  consulted  together  on  the  surest  and  quickest 
method  of  being  able  to  take  a  greater  number  of  victims 
from  the  houses  of  detention,  in  order  that  the  lists  might 
always  be  provided  complete." 

In  order  "  to  satisfy  Fouquier's  impatience,  Hally — 
according  to  the  witness's  account — answered  him  one  day 
that  he  had  to  satisfy  himself  with  sending  him  the  surnames 
without  the  Christian  names,  that  this  method  would  be 
quicker."^ 

After  the  25th  of  Ventose,  Judge  Pissis  gave  place  in 
the  inquiry  to  Judge  Jean  Francois  Godart.  It  was  before 
him  that  the  younger  Sallier  and  Guyard,  the  farmer, 
appeared.  It  was  also  before  him  that,  on  the  27th  of 
Ventose,  there  appeared  Pierre  Urbain  Deguaigne,  aged  48, 
an  ex-usher  of  the  Tribunal,  now  living  on  his  income  in 
Paris,  at  No.  4,  Quai  de  la  Republique. 

He  was  acquainted  with  Fouquier.  "  His  principal 
characteristic  was  irascibility.  He  frequently  gave  way  to 
violent  outbursts.  He  often  drank  wine  in  the  evening, 
and  came  and  made  a  horrible  racket  in  the  offices,  breaking 
and  damaging  the  portfolios,  and  using  the  hardest  language 
to  the  employees." 

But  "  at  bottom,  he  never  saw  him  cruel  or  ferocious." 

He  frequently  saw  him  with  jurors — Chretien,  Auvray, 
Topino-Lebrun,  Prieur,  Trinchard  and  others — eating  in  the 
refreshment-room,  "  together  or  separately." 

The  witness  was  particularly  charged  "  to  attend  to  the 
death  sentences."  The  only  question  that  Fouquier  used  to 
1  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  64. 


VIOLENT   OUTBURSTS  247 

ask  when  he  came  back  from  the  executions  was  : — "  Were 
there  many  people  there  ?  "^ 

Marie  Pierre  Joseph  Fonteines-Bire,^  aged  27,  hving  on  his 
income  at  No.  113  Quai  Malaquai,  Section  de  I'Unite,  had 
been  imprisoned  for  a  long  time  in  various  houses  of  detention 
during  the  Terror.  At  the  Plessis,  he  noticed  that  Fouquier 
often  came  there,  and  consulted  with  the  janitor.  It  was 
said  that  he  had  dined  several  times  with  him.  But  that 
was  merely  "  a  report." 

Andre  Contat,  aged  50,  formerly  a  clerk  in  the  ushers' 
office  of  the  Tribunal,  residing  in  Paris  at  No.  i,  Rue  des 
Rats,  Section  du  Pantheon,  declared  that  he  only  knew 
Fouquier-Tinville  when  he  was  employed  in  the  ushers' 
office.  He  often  saw  the  Public  Prosecutor  come,  swearing 
and  shouting  "  either  at  the  ushers  or  at  the  clerks."  He 
used  to  complain  that  the  work  was  not  done  fast  enough. 
He  broke  the  portfolios  by  the  way  he  struck  them  with  his 
hand.  He  made  everybody  tremble.  He  went  so  far  as  to 
say  :  "If  you  do  not  hurry,  I  will  lock  you  up.  I  will  have 
you  locked  up." 

It  was  more  particularly  after  dinner  that  he  gave  way  to 
those  "  violent  and  frightful  "  outbursts. 

The  amount  of  work  was  such  that  the  "  trembling  " 
clerks  would  tell  him  that  they  would  never  have  time 
between  the  evening  and  the  following  morning  to  copy  and 
serve  all  the  writs  of  indictment  which  he  ordered  them  to 
prepare.  He  would  answer  them :  "  Do  as  you  like ! 
There  will  always  be  enough  of  them.  Hurry  !  Things 
must  move  !  " 

They  were  often  brought  indictments  to  copy  which  were 
signed  by  him  but  not  by  the  judges.  They  pointed  this 
out  to  him.  He  answered  :  "  Go  on  with  your  work. 
They  will  be  signed." 

It  was  Contat  who,  meeting  Fouquier  on  the  9th  of  Ther- 
midor  "  in  the  archway  adjoining  the  ushers'  office,"  re- 
marked to  him  that  "  something  was  taking  place  in  Paris," 

'  Archives  Natioaales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  64. 
-  He  signs  thus. 


248   THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

and  that  perhaps  it  would  be  prudent  to  put  off  the  execution 
of  the  condemned  persons  until  the  morning,  so  as  not  to 
"  expose  "  the  police.  To  which  Fouquier  answered,  speak- 
ing to  the  executioner's  assistant  :  "  The  course  of  justice 
must  not  be  stopped." 

Fouquier  afterwards  went  out  to  dinner.  Contat  had  since 
learnt  that  that  dinner  took  place  in  the  He  Saint-Louis. 

Twice  the  witness  noticed  that  writs  of  indictment  were 
signed  by  Fouquier  although  the  names  of  the  accused  were 
not  written  in  them.  For  this  purpose  he  left  a  long  space 
cf  blank  paper  on  which  to  write  them. 

Next  came  a  deposition  that  was  terrible  for  Fouquier.  It 
was  that  of  Nicolas  Joseph  Paris,  called  Fabricius,  chief 
registrar  of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal,  residing  in  Paris 
in  the  Rue  des  Fosses-Saint-Germain-des-Pres.  He  was 
appointed  registrar  of  the  Tribunal  by  Danton.  He  did  not 
hide  his  indignation  after  Danton's  trial.  Four  days  after 
Danton's  death,  he  was  imprisoned  in  the  Luxembourg  and 
placed  in  solitary  confinement.  Set  at  liberty  after  Robe- 
spierre's fall,  he  had  been  re-appointed  registrar  by  a  decree 
of  the  22nd  of  Thermidor  in  the  year  II.  He  hated  Fouquier 
with  an  implacable  hatred.  He  said  :  "  Towards  the  end  of 
September  in  the  year  II.,  the  Tribunal  was  almost  entirely 
reorganised.  This  reorganisation  was  the  work  of  the  Com- 
mittees of  Public  Safety  and  of  General  Security,  along  with 
Fouquier  and  Fleuriot,^  who  presented  various  members  as 
candidates.  Those  members  were  appointed.  The  cause 
of  this  reorganisation  was  that  it  was  desired  to  get  rid  of 
honest   jurors. 

"  It  was  at  this  period  that  the  Committees  of  government 
took  possession  of  the  Tribunal,  which  became  an  instrument 
in  their  hands.  There  is  no  case  of  any  unhappy  wretch 
being  acquitted,  who  was  sent  by  those  Committees  to  the 
Tribunal ;  if  that  happened  he  was  again  arrested  and 
guillotined. 

>  Lescot-Fleuriot,  one  of  the  Public  Prosecutor's  deputies,  then 
Mayor  of  Paris,  was  guillotined  with  Robespierre  and  the  members 
of  the  Commune  on  the  loth  of  Thermidor. 


UNINTERRUPTED    VOLLEYS  249 

"  The  Tribunal  being  composed  of  four  sections,  there 
ought  to  have  been  a  selection  by  lot  of  judges  and  jurors  ; 
instead  of  such  a  selection  it  was  a  choice  that  was  made  of 
them  ;  this  was  done  above  all  when  there  were  important 
cases  to  be  tried  ;  it  was  done,  to  my  knowledge,  in  the  case 
of  Hebert  and  Vincent,  and  in  that  of  Philippeaux,  Camille, 
Danton,  and  others.  This  choice  was  made  by  Fleuriot  and 
Fouquier  in  the  Council  Chamber,  in  the  presence  of  several 
judges.  The  jurors  chosen  were  those  whom  Fouquier 
called  '  sohd  '  persons  on  whom  one  could  count — Trinchard, 
Renaudin,  Brochet,  Leroi,  called  '  Tenth  of  August,' 
Prieur,  Aubry,  Chatelet,  Didier,  Vilate,  Laporte,  Gautier, 
Duplay,  Lumiere,  Desboisseaux  and  Bernard  (these  last 
three  were  guillotined  as  members  of  the  rebel  Commune), 
as  well  as  several  others  known  at  the  Tribunal  as  firers  of 
unintermpted  volleys.  Those  jurors,  when  they  were  serving, 
went  in  the  morning  to  Fouquier's  room  where  the  judges  on 
duty  often  were.  There  they  discussed  the  case  for  the  day. 
Instructions  what  to  do  were  given  them. 

"  From  there  they  went  up  to  the  refreshment-room, 
through  the  windows  of  which  they  saw  with  pleasure  the 
victims  passing  by  whom  they  were  about  to  sacrifice,  and 
against  whom  they  allowed  themselves  to  make  insulting 
remarks.  One  day  I  was  in  Fouquier's  room.  Some  one 
came  to  announce  that  the  hearing  in  the  hall,  formerly  called 
the  Hall  of  Saint-Louis,  had  ended,  and  that  several  of  the 
persons  placed  on  trial  had  been  acquitted.  Fouquier 
burst  out  against  the  jurors,  stamping  with  his  foot,  and 
saying :  '  Give  me  the  names  of  those  beggars.  One  can  count 
on  nothing  with  those  people.  Here  are  safe  cases  breaking 
in  our  hands  ! ' 

"  Fouquier  repeated  similar  statements  on  several  occa- 
sions when  accused  persons  were  acquitted. 

"  In  the  course  of  Ventose  in  the  year  II.,  the  case  of 
Hubert,  Vincent,  Ronsin  and  others  came  on.  Lengthy 
informations  were  lodged.  ^lore  than  two  hundred  wit- 
nesses were  heard.  A  large  number  designated  Pachc  and 
Hanriot  as  heads  of  a  faction,  the  one  as  the  chief  judge  and 


250  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

the  other  as  chief  soldier  of  that  faction.     One  evening, 
before  the  trial,   the  Tribunal  assembled  in   the  Council 
Chamber  and  deliberated  on  the  charges  which  were  brought 
against  Pache  and  Hanriot  in  the  various  declarations  it 
had  received.     Dumas,  who  was  drunk,  proposed  that  a 
warrant  for  arrest  should  be  issued  against  Hanriot.    Fleuriot 
opposed  this  on  the  pretext  that  they  ought  not  to  arrest  the 
head  of  the  Parisian  army  without  referring  the  matter  to 
the  Committee  of  Public  Safety.     His  opinion  prevailed, 
and  on  the  same  evening  Fouquier,  Dumas  and  Herman 
went  to  the  Committee  of  Pubhc  Safety  to  inform  it  of  the 
debate  that  had  just  taken  place.     I  knew  the  next  day  that 
they  were  reprimanded  by  the  Committee,  and  particularly 
by   Robespierre,    for   having   deliberated   about    arresting 
Hanriot.     They  received  orders  to  get  rid  of  any  proofs  that 
might  exist  against  Pache  as  well  as  against  Hanriot.     Ron- 
sin,  Hebert  and  others  were  placed  on  trial ;  the  proceedings 
began,  and  when  certain  witnesses  wanted  to  speak  of  Pache 
and  Hanriot,  President  Dumas  interrupted  them,  saying  it 
had  nothing  to  do  with  those  persons,  that  they  were  not 
on  trial.     He  uttered  a  eulogy  of  them,  speaking  of  the 
virtue  of  Pache,  who  had  the  confidence  of  the  people,  of 
Hanriot's  good  citizenship  and  his  courage.    The  witnesses 
were  reduced  to  silence.     Fouquier  was  present   and   per- 
formed the  duties  of  Public  Prosecutor.     He  took  care  not 
to  contradict  the  President, 

"  Afterwards  came  the  proceedings  entered  into  against 
Camille  DesmouHns,  Phihppeaux,  Danton  and  others.  It 
was  in  this  affair  that  I  saw  the  Committees  of  Public  Safety 
and  of  General  Security  employing  the  most  refined  Machia- 
velism,  and  Fouquier,  like  Dumas,  lending  himself  basely 
and  willingly  to  the  perfidious  projects  of  those  two  Com- 
mittees, who  wished  to  sacrifice  the  most  enlightened  citizens 
and  the  firmest  defenders  of  our  liberty,  in  order  that  they 
might  more  surely  succeed  in  establishing  their  own  tyranny 
and  the  barbarous  system  which  they  have  since  employed. 
"  At  eleven  o'clock  the  accused  were  brought  into  the 
room  where  the  court  sat.     After  the  reading  of  the  indict- 


DANTON'S    REQUEST  251 

ment,  Westermann  and  Soulier  were  sent  for  and  joined 
with  Danton,  Camille  and  Philippeaiix,  just  as  these  last 
had  been  joined  with  d'Eglantine,  Chabot  and  d'Espagnac. 
In  this  way  there  were  brought  into  the  case  three  groups 
of  persons  who  had  never  seen  or  known  one  another — a 
refinement  of  perfidy  often  made  use  of  by  the  Committees 
and  still  oftener  by  Fouquier,  confounding  men  of  the 
highest  probity,  the  most  intrepid  defenders  of  our  hberty, 
with  low  scoundrels  and  the  declared  enemies  of  the 
Revolution. 

"  At  this  session  Camille  DesmouHns  challenged  the  juror 
Renaudin,  and  gave  reasons  for  his  challenge.  Those 
reasons  seemed  to  me  to  be  well  founded.  Fouquier  ought 
to  have  requested  the  Tribunal  to  pronounce  upon  these. 
But  a  juror  such  as  Renaudin  was  too  much  needed  ;  and 
care  was  taken  not  to  allow  the  challenge,  which  was  not 
even  considered.  The  accused,  seeing  a  marked  partiality 
on  the  part  of  the  Tribunal,  which  was  surrounded  by  mem- 
bers of  the  Committee  of  General  Security,  who  were  placed 
behind  the  judges  and  the  jurors,  asked  that  several  Deputies 
(to  the  number  of  sixteen)  should  be  summoned  and  heard 
as  witnesses.  Danton  also  asked  the  Tribunal  to  write  to 
the  Convention  in  order  that  a  commission  of  its  members 
should  be  appointed  to  receive  the  protest  that  he,  Camille, 
and  Philippeaux  desired  to  make  against  the  dictatorship 
exercised  by  the  Committee  of  Public  Safety.  These  re- 
quests were  in  no  way  acceded  to  ;  they  were  refused  by  the 
President,  by  Fouquier,  and  by  his  worthy  friend,  Fleuriot, 
who,  with  Fouquier,  filled  jointly  the  post  of  Public  Prose- 
cutor. As  the  Tribunal  had  no  valid  reason  to  offer  the 
accused  for  not  granting  a  request  that  could  not  be  refused 
without  injustice,  the  President  closed  the  session. 

"  The  next  day  the  hearing  began  very  late.  Some 
questions  were  put  to  some  of  the  accused.  Danton  asked 
leave  to  speak  in  order  to  answer  the  charges  brought  against 
him.  This  was  at  first  refused  under  the  pretext  that  he 
should  speak  in  his  turn.  As  he  insisted,  it  was  impossible 
to  persist  in  the  refusal.     He  took  the  indictment,  and  as 


232  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

conspirators,  a  list  of  whom  Fouquier  had  asked  of 
him. 

On  the  19th  of  Messidor,  when  summoned  as  a  witness 
to  the  Tribunal,  he  had  seen  Boyaval  going  into  Fouquier's 
room.  On  the  same  day  he  saw,  "  with  astonishment," 
among  the  accused  persons,  a  certain  Morin,^  who  had 
reached  the  Conciergerie  two  days  before  and  been  brought 
before  the  Tribunal  as  the  result  of  an  error  in  the  names. 
This  Morin  made  a  remark  about  it  to  Fouquier,  who 
answered  "  that  in  truth  Morin  was  not  the  man  he  sought,  but 
that  he  held  him  and  would  keep  him."  At  that  moment 
"  the  true  Morin,"  he  whom  they  sought,  made  his  appear- 
ance. Fouquier  had  him  placed  among  the  accused  per- 
sons, "entered  verbal  pleading  against  him  at  the  hearing, 
without  any  other  writ  of  indictment  being  deUvered  to  the 
accused  man,  who  was  condemned  with  the  rest."  The 
first  Morin  withdrew  from  the  Court,  but  was  again  placed 
on  trial  the  next  day,  and  condemned  like  his  namesake. 

Vauchelet  was  anxious  to  place  on  Verney  and  Boyaval 
all  responsibility  for  the  "  denunciations  "  made  to  Fouquier, 
and  instigated  by  the  Public  Prosecutor.  He  said  that 
Fouquier  "  used  to  keep  Boyaval  back  "  and  remain  in 
secret  conversation  with  him.  But  Boyaval  denied  that  he 
had  private  conversations  with  Fouquier. 

Which  of  these  two  wretches  are  we  to  beheve,  both  of 
them  ready  for  anything,  and  seeking  by  accusing  others 
to  extricate  themselves  from  a  diihcult  position  ? 

Vauchelet  affirmed  that,  being  summoned  a  second  time 
as  a  witness,  on  a  day  when  Fouquier  was  not  at  the  hearing 
of  the  case,  all  the  witnesses  were  heard.  "  Six  of  the 
witnesses,"  he  says,  "  of  whom  I  was  one,  spoke  in  favour 
of  fourteen  or  fifteen  accused  persons,  and  defended  them 
with  heat."  Eleven  were  acquitted  out  of  forty-five. 
A  juror  (whom  he  did  not  know)  remarked  to  him  that  he 
ought  to  recapitulate  and  point  out  the  accompUces  in  the 
Grammont  Conspiracy. 

Pierre  Marie  Bhgny,  Fouquier's  successor  as  procurator  at 
*  See    Chapter    III.,    p.  86. 


A    CRUEL    CHANGE  233 

the  Chatelet,  residing  at  No.  297  Rue  Neuve-Egalite,  Section 
Bonne-Nouvelle,  declared  that  he  knew  Citizen  Fouquier 
in  September,  1783,  "  a  period  when  he  negotiated  the  sale 
of  a  procurator's  office  and  practice  in  the  former  Chatelet, 
which  Fouquier  held ;  that  motives  of  interest  placed 
him  in  a  position  not  to  see  Fouquier  for  more  than  ten  years  ; 
that  the  position  of  Public  Prosecutor  at  the  Tribunal  of 
the  Department  necessitated  the  witness  seeing  Fou- 
quier in  regard  to  a  matter  in  which  he  was  counsel." 
He  saw  him  several  times  in  his  capacity  as  defender  when 
Fouquier  was  Public  Prosecutor  of  the  Revolutionary 
Tribunal.  He  spoke  to  him  only  about  the  cases 
with  which  he  was  entrusted,  and  about  nothing  else. 
He  declared  that  he  had  no  knowledge  of  the  conspiracies 
in  the  prisons,  nor  of  "  what  was  called  firing  an  uninter- 
rupted volley,"  as  he  had  no  cases  at  the  Revolutionary 
Tribunal  for  about  a  year. 

Pierre  Athanase  Pepin  Degrouhette,^  aged  43,  a  lawyer, 
an  official  defender.  President  of  the  Tribunal  established 
on  August  17th,  1792,  residing  in  Paris  at  No.  25  Rue  du 
Sentier,  Section  Brutus,  knew  Fouquier  in  September,  1792, 
as  director  of  the  jury  d' accusation,  of  which  he,  Pepin,  was 
one  of  the  presidents.  He  lost  sight  of  him  and  found  him 
again  at  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal.  Pepin-Degrouhette 
used  to  defend  accused  persons. 

During  the  first  six  or  seven  months  of  the  existence 
of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal,  he  found  Fouquier  "  very 
accessible  to  the  complaints  of  unfortunate  persons,  very 
easy  in  granting  the  delays  necessary  for  preparing  the 
defence  of  the  accused,  for  fetching  documents  and  witnesses 
for  the  defence."  But  towards  the  end  of  1793  and  in  the 
first  months  of  the  year  H.,  "  things  changed  cruelly." 
Fouquier  "  became  unapproachable."  The  days  when  the 
accused  were  to  appear  in  court  were  concealed  from  the 
defenders.  The  indictments  were  served  on  the  evening 
before  the  trial,  and  sometimes  late  at  night.  The  unhappy 
prisoners  often  went  into  the  dock  without  their  defenders 

'  He   signs   thus. 


234  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

and  without  their  evidence.  Pepin-Degrouhette  complained 
vehemently  of  this  to  Fouquier.  The  latter  burst  out 
angrily  and  said  on  different  occasions  :  "  I  can  do  nothing 
about  it.     My  hand  is  forced." 

On  the  2nd  of  Floreal  in  the  year  IL,  Pepin  was  arrested 
and  taken  to  Saint-Lazare.  His  wife  went  the  next  day 
to  find  Fouquier  and  beg  him  not  to  bring  to  trial  the  accused 
persons  whom  her  husband  was  commissioned  to  defend. 
Fouquier  received  her  very  brutally,  and  said  "  that  he  would 
not  stop  the  course  of  justice  for  her  husband."  Several 
citizens  were,  in  fact,  tried  and  condemned  whilst  the  evi- 
dence was  under  seals  affixed  at  Pepin-Degrouhette's  house. 

In  the  case  of  the  Saint-Lazare  conspiracy,  which  occupied 
the  court  for  three  days,  Fouquier  only  sat  on  the  first  day. 
He  appeared  to  be  less  unmerciful  than  Liendon  who  sat 
on  the  other  two  days.^ 

Jean  Henry  Voulland,  aged  43,  Representative  of  the 
people  residing  at  No.  108,  Rue  Croix-des-Petits-Champs, 
liad  no  association  with  Fouquier  except  such  as  he  might 
have  in  his  capacity  as  member  of  the  Committee  of  General 
Security.  He  could  give  no  evidence  for  the  prosecution 
or  the  defence.  2 

Another  Deputy,  Andre  Amar,  aged  38,  representing  the 
Department  of  the  Isere,  and  a  member  of  the  Committee 
of  General  Security,  could  not  say  whether  Fouquier  held 
private  intercourse  with  Robespierre.  He  strongly  sus- 
pected that  Maximilien  had  a  good  deal  of  influence  over 
Fouquier,  Cofiinhal,  and  Dumas,  and  more  particularly 
over  the  last  two  than  over  Fouquier.  He  remembered 
seeing  at  the  Committee  of  General  Security  an  information 
in  which  Fouquier  was  accused  of  having  dined  on  the  9th 
of  Thermidor  with  Cofiinhal  and  Dumas.  ^  This  information 
was  sent  to  the  Tribunal  with  aU  the  documents  for 
Fouquier's  prosecution.     He  knew  nothing  more. 

Claude   Emmanuel   Dobsen,    aged   53,    twice    President 

1  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  45  bis,  folios  16  to  18. 
*  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  45  ter,  folio  i. 
»  This  is  true  as  regards  Cofiinhal,  but  false  concerning  Dunaas, 
as  he  had  just  been  arrested  on  that  day.     (See  Chapter  IV.) 


A    MOCKERY  235 

of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal,  residing  at  No.  7A  Rue  du 
Cloitre-Notre-Dame,  Section  de  la  Cite,  had  been  Fouquier's 
colleague  as  director  of  the  jury  d'accusatiofi.  Appointed 
President  of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal  in  place  of  Mon- 
tane, "  he  had  the  most  intimate  intercourse  with  Fouquier." 
He  never  "  noticed  anything  in  him  contrary  to  the  princi- 
ples of  the  strictest  justice."  Dobsen  only  left  the  Tribunal 
in  virtue  of  the  decree  of  the  22nd  of  Prairial  which  did  not 
re-elect  him. 

When  Herman,  the  President,  was  appointed  Minister 
of  the  Interior,  Dumas  "  President  in  Chief,"  and  SceUier 
and  Cofftnhal  Vice-Presidents,  from  that  moment  the  form 
of  the  proceedings  changed.  It  seemed  to  Dobsen  that 
Dumas  directed  all  the  operations.  He  heard  him  complain 
several  times  of  Fouquier-Tinville  and  of  the  fact  that  he 
did  not  "  place  a  greater  number  of  people  on  trial  at  once." 
Since  the  22nd  of  Prairial  he  sometimes  frequented  the 
Tribunal.  He  saw  with  horror  almost  all  the  accused 
persons  tried  without  having  any  facihties  for  bringing 
forward  their  defence.  He  even  saw  a  large  number  tried, 
in  regard  to  whom  this  was  confined  to  asking  them  their 
names  and  conditions.  The  pleadings  were  then  closed, 
the  questions  put  to  the  jury,  and  condemnation  pronounced. 
Several  times,  when  he  came  to  the  Palace,  before  the 
hearing  had  even  begun,  he  saw,  collected  in  the  courtyard, 
vehicles  intended  to  take  the  condemned  to  the  scaffold.* 

Denis  Michel  JulHen,  aged  30,  merchant,  residing  at 
No.  12,  Quai  de  Chaillot,  Section  des  Champs-Elysees, 
gave  evidence  similar  to  that  of  Vauchelet.  It  was  the  story 
of  the  conspiracy  in  the  prisons.  Like  Vauchelet,  like 
Amans,  like  Beausire,  Uke  Boyaval,  etc.,  he  was  summoned 
from  the  Luxembourg,  where  he  was  detained,  as  a  witness 
before  the  Tribunal.  He,  too,  acted  the  part  of  a  pohce 
spy.  Like  the  others,  he  boasted  of  having  saved  accused 
persons  by  his  evidence.  He  gave  evidence  against  Dumas, 
but  said  nothing  about  Fouquier-Tinville. 2 

»  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  45  ter,  folio  i. 

a  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  45  ier,  foUos  i  and  2. 


CHAPTER    XI 

FOUQUIER-TINVILLE'S   second   trial  :     CONTINUATION 

OF  THE    INQUIRY 

AS  the  inquiry  advanced,  the  judge  shortened  the 
examinations  of  the  witnesses. 
From  the  evidence  we  have  analysed  in  the  pre- 
ceding chapter,  there  result  rather  contradictory 
opinions.  Many  witnesses  are  crushing,  in  their  answers,  in 
regard  to  the  moral  conduct  of  the  Pubhc  Prosecutor. 
Others,  on  the  contrary,  such  as  Chateau  and  ex-President 
Dobsen,  are  clearly  favourable  to  him,  "  Never,"  Dobsen 
had  said,  "  did  I  notice  anything  in  him  that  could  be 
contrary  to  the  principles  of  the  strictest  justice. "^ 

On  the  19th  of  Ventose  there  came  forward  a  witness 
who  owed  it  to  his  father's  wonderful  devotion  that  he  was 
still  living.  This  is  young  Loizerolles  (Frangois  Simon), 
aged  24,  in  the  29th  division  of  police.  We  know  his 
story. 2  He  stated,  very  simply,  that  he  had  never  seen 
Fouquier-Tinville.  But  he  knew  and  was  sure  that  his 
father  was  tried  and  condemned  by  the  Tribunal  on  the  8th 
of  Thermidor  in  the  year  H.  (a  day  before  Robespierre's 
fall),  on  a  writ  of  indictment  issued  against  himself,  the  son. 
Loizerolles,  the  father,  an  ex-Lieutenant-General  of  the 
bailiwick  of  the  Arsenal,  did  not  protest  and  went  to  death 
to  save  his  son.  "  By  an  error  as  extraordinary  as  in- 
expHcable,"   said    young   Loizerolles,   "  it   was  my  father 

'  Dobsen,  the  President  of  the  Section  de  la  Cite,  had  presided 
on  May  30,  1793,  over  the  insurrectional  assembly  of  the  commis- 
sioners of  the  majority  of  the  sections,  who  met  at  the  Hotel  de  Villa 
and  declared  the  people  in  a  state  of  insurrection.  He  was  a  Heber- 
tist  in  his  opinions.  Perhaps  his  evidence,  so  favourable  to  Fouquier, 
came  in  part  from  the  animosity  he  felt  against  the  new  Tribunal 
because  he  had  not  been  re-appointed  to  it. 

*  See  Chapter  III.,  p.  99,  and  Note  p.  98. 

236 


AN    ACT    OF    MERCY  237 

whom  the  jury  condemned,  a  mistake  all  the  more  ridiculous 
(sic)  as  my  father  was  sixty  years  old  and  I  was  only  twenty- 
two.  The  Pubhc  Prosecutor,  the  judges,  and  the  jurors 
could  easily  have  noticed  this  blunder  if  they  had  only 
looked  at  my  father.  "^ 

Frangois  Urbain  Meunier,  aged  50,  captain  on  half-pay 
in  the  104th  regiment,  of  No.  5,  Quai  d'Ecole,  Section  du 
Museum,  was  imprisoned  in  the  Luxembourg  for  nine 
months.  He  was  summoned  to  the  Tribunal  as  a  witness 
in  the  conspiracy  case.  He  was  one  of  the  four  police  spies 
who  were  heard  against  a  large  number  of  accused  persons. 
He  affirmed  that  he  knew  nothing  and  said  nothing.  He 
thought  that  at  the  hearing  Fouquier  performed  the  duties 
of  Public  Prosecutor.     He  was  not  sure  of  this. 

An  official  defender,  Bernard  Jean  Louis  Malarme,^ 
aged  44,  residing  at  No.  531,  Rue  des  Prouvaires,  Section 
du  Contrat-Social,  spoke  of  the  release  of  prisoners  due  to 
Fouquier  (Sarce,  an  ex-captain,  and  Bayard  La  Vingtrie, 
lieutenant  of  the  bailiwick).  Fouquier,  on  a  letter  from 
Guffroy,  the  Representative  of  the  people,  placed  on  one 
side  the  papers  relating  to  Citizen  Dupuy,  an  employee  in 
the  Committee  of  General  Security,  "  whilst  waiting  for 
a  more  favourable  opportunity."     This  saved  Dupuy. 

When  Malarme  recognised  that  his  position  as  official 
defender  at  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal  had  become  useless, 
he  had  himself  appointed  secretary  in  the  prosecutor's 
office,  "  to  take  charge  of  the  correspondence  there."  He 
could  thus  observe  Fouquier's  activity  and  his  constant 
obedient  attention  to  the  orders  he  received  from  the 
governing  committees.  He  could  also  observe,  as  did  the 
whole  staff  in  the  office,  "  with  what  repugnance  Fouquier 
saw  artisans  and  labourers  placed  on  trial." 

He  saw  Vadier,  Amar,  and  others  in  Fouquier's  private 
room,  but  was  never  present  at  their  conversations.  He 
affirmed  that  he  placed  aside  "  in  his  possession  "  the 
documents  relating  to  the  ninety-four  inhabitants  of  Nantes. 

*  Archives  Nationales,  W.  100,  3rd  dossier,  p.  45  ter,  folio  2. 

*  He    signs    thus. 


238  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

Fouquier  had  always  given  heed  to  the  representations 
which  he  made  in  their  favour. 

He  thought  he  noticed  that  Dumas  was  Fouquier's  enemy. 
Twice  on  the  night  between  the  gth  and  loth  of  Thermidor, 
the  ex-Pubhc  Prosecutor  sent  him  to  the  Committee  of 
PubHc  Safety  to  tell  that  Committee  that  he  was  at  his  post 
at  the  Tribunal.  When  he  came  back,  he  found  Fouquier 
having  supper  with  the  attendant  in  the  refreshment-room, 
Morisan,  his  family,  and  Gillier,  one  of  his  secretaries  and 
Morisan's  son-in-law. 

Next  there  came  to  give  evidence,  Pierre  Francois  Morisan, 
aged  54,  wine-seller  and  attendant  in  the  refreshment-room. 
He  kept  the  Cafe  des  Subsistances  in  the  hall  of  the  Palace. 
He  formerly  kept  the  refreshment -room  "  in  one  of  the 
towers,  near  the  Revolutionarv  Tribunal." 

Morisan  repeated  what  his  wife  and  daughter  said.  Fou- 
quier often  took  his  meals  at  their  place.  He  believed  he 
saw  in  him  "  much  zeal  and  activity."  He  heard  him 
complain  that  he  performed  "  painful  functions,"  and  even 
showed  "  some  fears  on  his  own  account." 

He  had  not  been  present  at  sessions  of  the  Tribunal 
"  since  the  period  when  a  great  number  of  accused  persons 
began  to  be  tried  there  at  once,  because  this  multitude  of 
prisoners  or  witnesses  caused  a  great  crowd  at  his  place, 
and  this  obhged  him  to  remain  and  serve  them."  On 
several  occasions  he  furnished  the  accused  with  refresh- 
ments and  food,  by  order  of  Fouquier,  Dumas,  or  others. 

Fouquier  would  say  to  him  :  "  There  have  been  so  many 
of  them  to-day.  There  will  be  thirty  more  of  them  to-morrow. 
I  understand  nothing  of  all  this." 

Morisan  remarked  "  that  so  great  a  quantity  of  the 
accused  must  tire  him  out."  He  asked  him  how  he  was  able 
to  hold  out.  Fouquier  answered  :  "  What  would  you  have 
me  do  ?  I  have  orders  from  the  Committee  of  Public 
Safety." 

On  the  evening  of  the  gth  of  Thermidor,  Fouquier  said 
to  him  :  "  For  my  part,  I  remain  at  my  post." 

Next  there  came  forward  a  sinister  figure  of  a  prisoner. 


THE    BICETRE    CONSPIRACY  239 

In  order  to  get  better  treatment,  to  give  himself  importance, 
or  from  fear,  or  to  obtain  his  hberty,  he  had  become  a 
police  spy. 

He  was  Joseph  Manini,  aged  47  ;  he  called  himself  a  man 
of  letters.  He  had  been  imprisoned  for  more  than  sixteen 
months.  Just  now,  he  was  at  La  Bourbe  or  Port-Libre.  He 
mentioned  the  prisons  in  which  he  had  been  incarcerated — 
the  Madelonettes  (four  months),  Saint -Lazare  (five  to  six 
months) ,  the  Plessis  (from  the  2nd  of  Thermidor  until  about 
the  22nd  of  Frimaire),  the  Luxembourg,  and  then  Port- 
Libre  where  he  was  at  present  confined.  He  related  what 
he  knew  of  the  conspiracies,  his  relations  with  Coquery, 
another  poUce  spy,  the  conversations  he  had  overheard  and 
reported.  He  thought  that  at  one  of  the  hearings  to  which 
he  came  as  a  witness,  Fouquier  performed  the  duties  of 
Public  Prosecutor.  ' '  The  accused  persons  spoke  for  as  long 
as  they  wished  without  being  interrupted,  except  one, 
who  defended  himself  with  sarcasms  and  insidts  directed 
against  the  Tribunal." 

Francois  Dupaumie,^  aged  thirty-five  and  a  half,  jeweller, 
of  No.  124,  Rue  de  la  Verrerie,  imprisoned  in  the  Plessis 
since  the  24th  of  Brumaire,  saw  Fouquier  come  one  day, 
about  the  end  of  Prairial  or  the  beginning  of  Messidor, 
with  a  detachment  of  police  and  three  vehicles,  to  Bic^tre, 
of  which  Dupaumie  was  governor.  There  Fouquier  had  a 
table  placed  in  one  of  the  courtyards.  He  drew  out  a  list, 
and  summoned  thirty-six  or  thirty-seven  persons  who  had 
been  informed  against  by  prisoners  who  were  sentenced  to 
chains.     This  was  the  Bicetre  conspiracy.^ 

Dupaumie  took  care  to  exonerate  himself  from  an^?^  share 
in  this  act  of  Fouquier.  He  affirmed  that,  so  long  as  he  was 
governor  of  Bicetre,  the  house  was  "  perfectly  quiet  "  ; 
that  he  noticed  no  conspiracy.  Fouquier  said  to  him  : 
"  I  have  been  present  at  the  hearing  when  thirty-six  or 
thirty-seven  individuals  were  condemned.  I  knew  that  the 
witnesses  were  scamps.  The  prisoners  would  not  have  been 
condemned  if  they  themselves  had  not  confessed  they  had 
'  He  signs  thus.  *  See  Chapter  III. 


26o  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

One  day  Dupre  saw  and  read  an  indictment  made  out 
against  a  certain  Dietrich,^  Mayor  of  Strasburg  ;  and  not 
having  found  offences  deserving  condemnation,  he  pointed 
this  out  to  Chateau,  a  clerk  in  the  prosecutor's  office,  who 
answered  him  :  "  You  are  right.  You  think  that  is  nothing. 
But  the  300,000  livyes  of  income  that  are  not  put  down 
there  are  something." 

By  this  observation,  and  by  the  tone  in  which  it  was 
uttered.  Chateau  seemed  to  the  witness  to  reflect  the  state 
of  mind  of  the  prosecutor's  office. 

Dupre  was  present  at  several  sessions  of  the  Tribunal. 
He  noticed  "  great  vehemence  against  the  accused  on  the 
part  of  Fouquier."  He  scarcely  left  them  "  time  to  collect 
themselves,"  especially  in  the  case  of  Magon  la  Balue,  in 
which  the  grand-daughter  of  the  last-mentioned  and  her 
husband  were  condemned  on  the  sole  ground  that  they 
belonged  to  the  family.  There  was  no  document,  no  witness, 
against  them.  Dupre  could  not,  however,  assert  positively 
that  it  was  Fouquier  who  performed  the  duties  of  Public 
Prosecutor  in  that  case.^ 

For  a  month  the  two  investigating  judges,  Pissis  and 
Godart,  endeavoured  to  establish  the  Public  Prosecutor's 
responsibility  for  the  criminal  haste  with  which  indictments 
were  made  out,  his  attitude  at  the  sessions  of  the  Tribunal 
when  he  sat,  the  part  he  played  in  Danton's  case,  in  that  of 
Leonard  Bourdon,  and  in  the  Prison  Conspiracy,  and  his 
relations  with  the  jurors. 

We  have  made  a  lengthy  examination  of  the  indictments 
preserved  among  the  Archives.  We  have  demonstrated 
that  they  were  made  out  with  precipitation  and  negligence, 
and  we  have  heard  many  depositions  relative  to  Fouquier's 
attitude  in  the  course  of  the  proceedings. 

We  know  the  terrible  evidence  of  the  registrar  Paris 
in  regard  to  Danton's  case.  When  Paris  was  confronted 
with  Fouquier  at  the  trial,  Fouquier  exclaimed  against  this 

*  Frederic  Dietrich,  Mayor  of  Strasburg,  was  guillotined  on  the 
8th  of  Nivose  in  the  year  II. 

«  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  63,  folio  7. 


BLUFFING   THE    COMMITTEE  261 

deposition,  saying  :   "  It  is  Danton's  death  that  they  would 
revenge  here." 

But  he  was  unable  to  deny  the  facts  of  this  clear,  precise, 
and  circumstantial  statement. 

Another  witness,  Villain  d'Aubigny,  a  prisoner  at  Sainte- 
Pelagie,  met  Fouquier  in  that  house  of  detention,  in  Fructi- 
dor.  He  said  that  he  reproached  the  ex-Public  Prosecutor 
vehemently  for  his  conduct  in  Danton's  case.  Fouquier 
answered  that  he  had  no  cause  for  self-reproach  as  he  had 
gone  to  the  Committee  of  Public  Safety  and  transmitted 
the  request  of  the  accused,  who  desired  to  have  sixteen 
Deputies  heard  as  witnesses.  He  believed  that  the  Com- 
mittee would  offer  no  opposition  to  this.  The  Committee 
refused. 

"  I  insisted,"  said  Fouquier  to  Villain  d'Aubigny. 
"  It  was  therefore,"  answered  the  witness,  "  a  crime  for 
you  to  have  deceived  the  accused  and  made  them  lose  pJEecious 
time  which  they  might  have  spent  in  taking  other  measures 
for  their  defence.  I  tell  you  that  your  letter  of  the  15th, 
written  to  the  Committee,  is  a  crime,  for  from  what  had  been 
told  you  on  the  previous  evening,  you  should  have  known 
beforehand  what  would  be  the  answer  of  the  Committee 
to  your  letter." 

"  I  wrote  it,"  Fouquier  affirmed,  "  because  the  people 
who  were  present  at  that  case  demanded,  together  with  the 
accused,  that  the  witnesses  they  claimed  should  be  heard. 
But  I  did  not  foresee  the  atrocious  use  that  the  official 
reporter  of  that  Committee  would  make  of  that  letter, 
by  bluffing  the  Convention  and  wringing  from  it  a  decree 
depriving  the  accused  of  the  right  to  plead.  That  decree 
was  gained  by  not  allowing  the  Convention  time  for  reflec- 
tion. A  rebellion  against  Law  and  Justice  on  the  part  of 
the  accused  was  spoken  of.  That  rebellion  never  existed." 
"It  is  very  strange,"  rejoined  Villain  d'Aubigny,  "  that 
at  the  moment  when  this  decree  reached  the  Tribunal, 
at  the  moment  when  the  Tribunal  was  informed  by  its  con- 
tents of  the  horrible  manner  in  which  the  good  faith  of  the 
Convention  had  been  imposed  upon,  you  did  not  ask  all 


262  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

the  members  of  the  Tribunal,  all  the  judges  and  all  the 
jurors,  to  go  with  you,  that  very  moment,  to  the  Convention, 
and  enlighten  it  concerning  the  frightful  perfidy  by  means 
of  which  it  had  been  surprised  into  passing  a  decree  that 
sent  the  accused  to  the  scaffold  without  hearing  them." 

"  Restrained  myself  by  the  threats  that  were  made  to  me 
each  day,  I  was  unable,  in  this  case  as  well  as  in  many  others, 
to  obey  the  inchnations  of  my  heart,"  answered  Fouquier.^ 

In  regard  to  the  Leonard  Bourdon  case,  Francois  Basse- 
ville,  a  tiler  from  Orleans,  declared  that  he  found  Leonard 
Bourdon,  his  witnesses,  and  Fouquier-Tinville  assembled 
in  the  same  room.^  Those  witnesses,  belonging  to  "  the 
chque  that  devastated  the  Orleans  district,"  threw  them- 
selves on  Leonard  Bourdon's  neck,  and  he  gave  them 
unequivocal  evidence  of  his  friendship  for  them. 

In  the  course  of  the  prehminary  investigations  and  of  the 
trial,  Basseville  saw  Fouquier  several  times  lunching  in  the 
refreshment-room  with  those  witnesses.  When  the  muni- 
cipal officers  of  the  Orleans  district,  who  had  been  summoned 
to  give  evidence,  presented  themselves  in  court,  Fouquier- 
Tinville  silenced  them,  and  said  to  the  President :  "  Take 
notice,  President,  that  it  is  a  municipal  officer  who  is 
speaking,  and  that  he  will  never  tell  you  the  truth." 

Another  witness,  Charles  Cornu,  aged  37,  a  farmer  of 
Orleans,  declared  that  Fouquier  and  those  of  the  judges 
who  had  examined  the  Orleans  witnesses  in  the  Leonard 

1  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  64,  folio  i. 

2  Leonard  Bourdon,  a  teacher  and  the  founder  of  the  Society  of 
Young  Frenchmen,  a  boarding-school  at  which  lectures  in  morals 
were  to  be  given  by  Robespierre,  Collot  d'Herbois,  Billaud-Varenne, 
etc.,  had  been  elected  to  the  Convention  by  the  Department  of  the 
Loiret.  Sent  on  a  mission  to  Orleans,  as  he  was  passing  the  City  Hall 
on  March  15,  1793,  he  had  been  surrounded  by  a  crov/d,  dragged 
into  the  ante-room  of  the  Hall,  struck  by  a  baj'onet  and  slightly 
wounded  in  the  left  arm  and  in  the  head.  Was  it  a  premeditated 
assault,  or  was  it  a  brawl  ?  The  incident  happened  after  a  fraternal 
dinner.  Had  the  sentinel  of  the  City  Hall  been  attacked  and  pro- 
voked by  one  of  the  citizens  who  accompanied  the  Representative 
of  the  people  ?  The  Convention,  indignant  at  the  attempt  against 
one  of  its  members,  ordered  that  the  instigators  of  the  attack  should 
be  tried  by  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal. 


FEASTING    WITNESSES    AND    JURYMEN      263 

Bourdon  case  "  appeared  to  be  astonished  at  the  importance 
which  the  Representative  sought  to  give  to  that  case,  and 
did  not  seem  to  find  in  it  any  serious  offence."  Leonard 
Bourdon  held  frequent  conferences,  morning  and  evening, 
with  Fouquier,  down  to  the  moment  when  the  indictment 
was  made  out  and  signed.  It  was  at  this  time  that  Leonard 
Bourdon  had  printed  what  he  called  Details  Concerning  the 
Attempt  against  a  Representative  of  the  People,  Committed 
at  Orleans.  This  statement  was,  in  part,  copied  out  in  the 
indictment.  Fouquier,  meeting  the  witness  in  the  registry 
of  the  Tribunal  when  he  had  just  left  there  some  documents 
for  the  defence,  told  him  that  he  was  sorry  he  had  consented 
to  his  provisional  release,  that  he  was  guilty,  and  that  he 
had  been  deceived  regarding  him. 

"  You  cannot  have  been  deceived,"  Cornu  answered 
him,  "  since  you  have  in  your  possession  all  the  charges 
relative  to  this  case." 

The  witnesses  who  had  been  summoned  were  daily  at 
Bourdon's  with  Fouquier-Tinville.  Young  girls  from  Orleans, 
who  were  summoned  to  give  evidence,  had,  on  the  evening 
before  the  hearing,  related  that  Bourdon  had  feasted  them, 
had  paid  for  bouquets  for  them,  and  promised  them  dresses. 
The  witnesses  had  lunched  several  times  in  the  refreshment- 
room  of  the  Tribunal  with  Fouquier  and  some  jurors. 
Cornu  caused  this  to  be  told  at  the  trial,  by  Juhenne,  one 
of  the  defenders.  Fouquier  showed  a  good  deal  of  ill-humour 
at  this,  and  said  to  Julienne  "  that  he  would  not  be  the  hap- 
pier for  it."  He  asked  the  Tribunal  for  the  arrest  of  several 
witnesses  for  the  defence.^ 

As  regards  Fouquier's  complicity  in  that  famous  phantom 
conspiracy  which  has  been  called  the  Conspiracy  in  the 
Prisons,  here  follows  a  certain  number  of  depositions  which 
seem  to  establish  it. 

On  the  15th  of  Ventose  in  the  year  III.,  a  pohce  officer, 
Charles  Mercereau,  who  had  been  imprisoned  in  the  Luxem- 
bourg for  two  months,  gave  evidence  before  Judge  Pissis  that 
he  saw  "  lists  of  proscribed  persons  "  being  made.  Some  police 

»  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier  p.  64,  folios  6  and  7. 


264  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

administrators  proposed  to  him  that  he  should  share  in  the 
work.  They  told  him  that  Fouquier-Tinville  and  the  Com- 
mittees had  people  in  the  Luxembourg  "  to  discover  the 
conspiracies."  On  the  night  between  the  8th  and  9th  of 
Thermidor  people  came  from  Fouquier  to  fetch  twenty-five 
of  those  alleged  conspirators,  among  whom  was  an  old  man 
of  about  70  years  of  age,  so  infirm  that  he  could  only  move 
with  great  difficulty,  blind,  and  in  his  second  childhood. 
He  was  condemned  like  the  others  "  for  having  conspired 
in  the  prisons."^ 

It  is  noticeable  that  the  greater  number  of  the  witnesses 
declared  that  the  conspiracies  were  imaginary.  One 
"  had  heard  them  spoken  of  "  but  that  was  all.  Another 
said  :  "A  conspiracy  which  they  said  was  being  hatched." 
Many  affirmed  that  "  far  from  having  noticed  a  conspiracy 
they,  on  the  contrary,  had  noticed  the  greatest  tranquillity 
and  the  greatest  submission  on  the  part  of  the  prisoners 
who  had  been  terrorised."  Another,  confined  in  Saint- 
Lazare,  could  attest  that  there  was  no  conspiracy  there. 
"  He  shuddered  at  seeing  ninety  persons  carried  off  in  three 
days  on  informations  lodged  by  Manini."  Brunet,  a  wine- 
seller  of  the  Rue  de  Buci,  formerly  employed  as  a  wine-seller 
at  the  Carmelites,  "  was  acquainted  with  no  trace  of  a  con- 
spiracy." The  sole  care  of  the  prisoners  was  to  amuse  them- 
selves and  to  soften  the  rigour  of  imprisonment.  Several 
times,  when  some  new-comer  or  other  allowed  a  rather  bitter 
expression,  provoked  by  despair,  to  escape  his  lips,  he  even 
saw  them  "  recalhng  him  to  gentleness  and  hope."  Dufau, 
a  colonial,  imprisoned  at  the  Carmelites,  said  "  that  in  his 
opinion  the  alleged  conspiracy  in  the  Carmelites  was  a  myth 
invented  by  men  greedy  for  blood.  It  had  for  its  object 
only  a  plan  of  escape  contrived  by  five  or  six  prisoners  who 
planned  to  escape  during  the  night  with  the  help  of  a  bell- 
rope." 

Chavard  declared  that  this  conspiracy  was  "  absolutely 
imaginary."  The  plan  of  escape  of  five  or  six  prisoners  who 
had  found  a  rope  in  the  bell-tower  alone  gave  birth  to  the 

1  This  was  M.  Durand  Puy  de  Verine.      See  Chapter  IV.,  p.  105. 


FOUOUIER  AND  THE  PRISON  CONSPIRACIES      265 

idea.  "  The  basis  of  the  indictment  which  Fouquier  drew 
up  was  as  atrocious  as  it  was  slanderous,  for  it  related  to  a 
conspiracy  that  had  no  existence  except  in  the  brains  of  the 
PubHc  Prosecutor  and  his  accomphces."  Millet,  a  com- 
missioner from  San  Domingo,  a  Deputy  in  the  Convention, 
had  been  imprisoned  in  the  Carmelites.  He  noticed  no 
conspiracy,  what  he  was  witness  of  was  the  "  heroic  patience" 
of  the  prisoners,  "  the  harshness  and  rascality  "  of  the  janitor, 
Roblatre,  the  turnkeys,  and  the  police  officials.  Joly, 
an  artist  of  the  Theatre  des  Arts,  "  imprisoned  for  a  long  time 
by  his  Revolutionary  Committee,"  never  "  noticed  any 
suggestion  of  a  conspiracy  or  even  of  a  plan  of  escape." 
Nevertheless,  "  in  order  that  that  house  might  be  emptied 
more  quickly  there  existed  makers  of  lists  of  proscribed 
persons."  Guyard,  the  janitor  of  the  Luxembourg,  "  heard 
a  conspiracy  spoken  of."  Nevertheless,  within  the  building, 
he  observed  no  proceedings  and  heard  no  remarks  that 
pointed  to  a  conspiracy,  or  it  was  a  very  secret  one.  He  had 
no  reproach  to  make  against  the  prisoners.^ 

There  are  similar  declarations  regarding  the  other  houses 
of  detention.  Those  who  imagined  the  conspiracies,  those 
who  used  that  monstrous  imagination  to  escape  the  galleys 
and  to  enjoy  a  relative  liberty  since  they  used  to  leave  the 
prison  and  go  to  the  Tribunal  to  give  evidence  against  the 
unfortunate  beings  aboujt  whom  they  lodged  informations, 
they  alone  knew  what  the  conspiracies  were.  They  gave 
details  about  them.  But  their  evidence  was  suspect  and 
tainted  beforehand,  for  they  were  branded  with  an  igno- 
minious name.  They  were  police  spies — Benoit,  Boyaval, 
Beausire,  Manini,  Coquery,  and  Jobert  (the  Belgian). 

Now  follows  what  the  inquiry  says  about  the  jurors  of  the 
former  Tribunal,  with  whom,  in  a  few  days,  Fouquier  was 
to  stand  his  trial.  They  were  his  "  solid  persons,"  ready  to 
condemn  for  eighteen  livres  a  day. 

Citizen  Didier,  the  juror,  had  been  a  locksmith  at  Choisy- 
sur-Seine.     "  He  could  hardly  hve  by  his  work.     He  had 
even  been  obliged  to  toil  at  carrying  loads  in  the  port.     Since 
*  Archives  Nationales,  W.  509,  3rd  dossier,  p.  64  and  p.  58. 


266  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

the  Revolution,  and  especially  under  Robespierre's  reign, 
he  had  been  in  very  easy  circumstances  and  very  familiar 
with  Maximilien.  As  a  juror  of  the  Tribunal  he  acquired 
great  prestige  at  Choisy,  where  he  was  the  leader  of  the 
Popular  Society,  and  where  he  made  the  citizens  of  the 
district  tremble."^ 

Causeret,  a  building  contractor  from  Choisy,  declared  that 
Didier,  "  a  journeyman  locksmith,  really  became  one  of  the 
destroying  scourges  of  the  district,"  that  he  was  "  an  insepar- 
able companion  of  Hanriot,  and  an  accomplice  in  all  the 
arbitrary  acts  and  arrests  that  took  place  in  the  Choisy 
district."  On  one  occasion  "  he  pushed  his  temerity  so  far 
as  to  have  burned,  in  his  presence,  in  the  middle  of  the 
Popular  Society,  a  letter  from  the  receiver  of  taxes  who 
asked  him  to  advise  its  members  to  pay  their  taxes."  Didier 
said  that  it ' '  was  only  aristocrats  who  paid  ;  that  he  was  the 
friend  of  Robespierre  and  Duplay."^ 

It  was  Didier  who,  at  a  hearing  of  the  Tribunal,  asked  for 
permission  to  speak,  and  said  to  one  of  the  accused  :  "Is 
it  not  enough  to  prove  you  an  aristocrat  that  you  waited 
on  a  noble  ?     Bah  1    that  is  enough  of  it." 

On  which  they  passed  to  the  next  accused  person.^ 

The  juror  Brochet,  another  "  solid  man,"  twice  caused  the 
arrest  of  his  tenant,  Mury,  a  soap-manufacturer  of  Paris. 
Brochet  was  an  intimate  friend  of  Momoro.  Together  they 
had  created  a  Popular  Society  "  in  which  they  only  received 
people  of  their  own  party  or  those  who  wished  to  belong  to 
it."  He  held  at  the  same  time  the  positions  of  Captain  in 
the  National  Guard,  President  of  the  Revolutionary  Com- 
mittee, and  juror  of  the  Tribunal.  "This  man,  by  the 
arrests  and  condemnations  with  which  he  stained  himself 
in  the  exercise  of  the  offices  which  he  accumulated,  had 
made  himself  the  opprobrium  and  execration  of  his  whole 
Section."  One  day  the  witness  went  to  Brochet's  to  pay  his 
rent  (two  or  three  days  before  the  trial  of  the  woman  du 

1  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  64,  folio  3. 

*  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  64,  folio  5. 

*  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  58,  folio  i. 


CHRETIEN'S    CAFE  267 

Barry).  The  juror  put  him  off  to  another  day,  saying: 
"  They  are  waiting  for  me  at  the  Tribunal.  I  have  forty 
rascals  to  try." 

The  witness  spent  nearly  ten  months  in  prison  "  owing  to 
Brochet's  attentions."^ 

The  juror  Chretien,  a  member  of  the  Revolutionary  Com- 
mittee of  the  Lepelletier  Section,  "  was  the  scourge  of  his 
Section."  He  kept  a  cafe  in  the  Rue  Favart  off  the  Place  de 
la  Comedie  Italienne.  "It  was  from  the  infernal  divan  that 
he  kept  at  his  house  that  there  issued  forth  all  the  sabred 
and  moustached  gentry  who  wandered  either  into  the  thea- 
tres to  make  disturbances,  or  on  the  boulevards  to  drive 
away  the  respectable  women  who  were  taking  the  air," 
He  always  had  "  the  word  guillotine  in  his  mouth,  and 
threatened  with  Fouquier-Tinville  those  whom  he  desired 
to  frighten."  He  boasted  of  the  influence  he  had  with  the 
Public  Prosecutor.  He  had  been  several  times  on  missions 
in  his  own  Department,  with  powers  and  warrants  which  he 
said  he  held  from  Fouquier-Tinville.  He  spread  forth 
Terror  on  these  missions. 

When  he  came  back  from  the  Tribunal  and  was  asked  by 
the  habitues  of  his  "  divan  "  about  the  judgments  passed 
during  the  day,  he  used  to  smile,  and  "  with  an  insulting  and 
barbarous  joy  "  he  would  answer  :  "  There  will  be  twenty  or 
twenty-three  to-day." 

"  He  would  then  picture,  with  barbarous  gestures,  the 
attitude  which  the  condemned  persons  were  to  adopt  at  the 
moment  of  their  execution. "2 

Another  witness  said  that  Chretien  often  associated  with 
Collot  d'Herbois,  and  that  he  was  the  terror  of  all  the 
respectable  people  in  his  Section.  He  described  how  he 
guided  the  Committee  of  his  Section  with  cunning  and 
ferocity.3 

Another  gave  a  picture  of  his  "  divan,"  which  was  fre- 
quented by  "  a  society  of  bullies  and  cut-throats."     People 

1  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  58,  folio  4. 

'  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  64. 

3  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  58,  folio  i. 


268  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

were  only  admitted  to  this  den  if  they  could  prove  that  they 
had  taken  part  in  the  September  massacres.  "  Every  time 
that  Chretien  mounted  the  tribune,  it  was  to  display  his 
thirst  for  human  blood. "^ 

Another  declared  that  Chretien  never  showed  himself  in 
his  Section  "  except  armed  with  a  sabre,  pistols  or  a  cudgel  "  ; 
that  he  often  threatened  people  with  those  weapons  ;  that 
he  never  exercised  power  except  to  oppress  his  fellow- 
citizens  ;  that  he  regarded  as  aristocrats  every  rich  or  noble 
person  and  even  those  who  held  just  and  virtuous  principles. 
"  He  made  this  clear  on  one  occasion  when  he  was  compli- 
mented on  a  moral  speech  which  he  had  deUvered  in  the 
Temple  of  Reason  of  his  Section,  by  replying  that  he  had 
only  delivered  that  speech  in  order  that  by  their  applause  he 
might  recognise  the  aristocrats  and  moderates,  two  classes 
of  men  whom  he  persecuted."  His  conduct  on  the  gth  of 
Thermidor  was  very  suspicious.  He  did  not  go  to  his 
Section.  He  remained  at  his  "  divan,"  where  he  held  a 
council.  His  sole  aim  was  "  to  join  the  winning  side."  He 
had  Fouquier-Tinville's  name  continually  in  his  mouth,  and 
called  him  his  friend.  It  seemed  that  Fouquier  had  given 
him  blank  warrants  to  arrest  people,  and  that  he  had 
employed  them  at  Luzarches  in  the  case  of  an  officer  whose 
horses  he  wanted  to  take.  Dubois-Crance  was  the  possessor 
of  a  document  which  proved  this. 

Chretien  had  a  great  deal  of  influence  with  his  friend, 
Fouquier-Tinville,  and  lodged  informations  with  him  against 
all  those  of  whom  he  wished  to  rid  himself.  He  used  to 
speak  of  Fouquier  as  the  best  patriot  in  the  Republic,  and, 
when  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal  was  re-organised  after  the 
9th  of  Thermidor,  he  said  "  that  there  was  a  heap  of  in- 
triguers such  as  Tallien  and  others  who  wanted  to  oppose 
Fouquier's  nomination,  but  that  the  latter  could  not  fail  to 
win. "2 

Citizen  Beudon,  keeper  of  the  furnished  "  sailors'  house  "  in 
the  Rue  Gaillon,  Lepelletier  Section,  "  knew  the  man  called 

'  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  58,  folio  9. 
"  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  58. 


A    PATRIOT  269 

Chretien,  the  ex- juror  of  the  Tribunal,  as  one  of  the  greatest 
drinkers  of  blood  it  was  possible  to  see."  As  an  agent  on 
mission  he  used  to  go  into  the  Departments  with  "  blank 
credentials  which  it  was  said  he  held  from  Fouquier."^ 

Similar  evidence  about  Chretien  was  given  by  Renault, 
a  mason  and  building-contractor  of  Paris,  residing  at  No.  810 
in  "  the  unfinished  street  "  in  the  Lepelletier  Section.  He 
had  been  his  comrade  in  arms  in  the  artillery  company  of  the 
Section.  At  first  he  appeared  to  him  to  be  "  rather  quiet 
and  gentle,  not  doing  much  duty,  and  employing  his  waiters 
as  deputies  for  him."  On  the  day  when  the  question  of 
Marat  and  Robespierre  was  discussed  and  when  Louvet 
denounced  them  in  the  Convention,  Chretien,  who  was  on 
duty  that  day,  displayed  his  dissatisfaction  with  the 
Convention  in  a  far  from  respectful  manner,  saying  : — 

"Let  these  beggars  go  away!     They  waste  our  time." 

Since  then  "  he  had  taken  a  more  imperious  tone,  and 
began  to  make  himself  more  feared  than  liked  by  his  com- 
rades." He  brought  into  the  company  men  like  Maillard, 
September  massacrers,  so-called  conquerors  of  the  Bastille, 
who  belonged  with  him  to  a  so-called  Popular  Society. 

In  proportion  as  the  Republican  Government  became 
established,  he  gained  greater  "  preponderance,"  and  he 
tyrannised  over  his  Section.  He  had  always  been  a  friend 
of  Fouquier,  Ronsin,  Vincent  and  Hanriot.^ 

Another  witness,  Lanchon,  a  wine-seller  of  the  Rue  Neuve- 
Saint-Marc  in  the  Lepelletier  Section,  one  day  when  he 
went  into  Chretien's  house  to  drink  "a  small  glass  of 
brandy,"  and  expressed  astonishment  that  so  many  sentences 
of  condemnation  had  been  pronounced  at  the  Tribunal  in 
such  a  short  time,  was  answered  by  Chretien  with  the  words : 

"  Bah  !  are  you  surprised  at  that  ?  You  are  not  up  to 
date.  We  are  ahnost  useless  for  our  part ;  but  with 
Fouquier-Tinville,  who  is  a  patriot,  things  are  done  at 
once.    The  gaol-registers  are  read  and  the  thing  is  ended. "^ 

*  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  p.  58,  folio  10. 

*  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  58,  folio  11. 
^  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  63,  folio  4. 


270  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

Pierre  Armand  Le  Petit,  formerly  a  distiller,  of  the  Rue 
Marivaux,  saw  Chretien  "  dominating  over  his  Section 
for  three  years."  He  gave  details  which  confirmed  the 
preceding  depositions.^ 

The  ex-juror  Aubry,  a  tailor,  of  the  Section  de  I'Unite, 
"  could  neither  read  nor  write."  He  was  an  "  evil  man  of 
sanguinary  instincts."  A  witness  at  Fouquier's  trial  heard 
him  say,  at  the  time  of  the  reorganisation  of  the  Tribunal, 
after  the  9th  of  Thermidor,  that  "  the  choice  of  Fouquier- 
Tinville  as  Public  Prosecutor  was  the  best  that  could  be 
made,  that  only  aristocrats  could  oppose  his  appointment, 
and  that  another  like  him  would  never  be  found."  It 
appeared  that  Aubry,  in  his  capacity  as  a  juror,  never 
voted  except  for  death.  "  Two  classes  were  to  him  food  for 
the  guillotine — priests  and  nobles."  It  was  useless  to 
examine  the  documents  relating  to  them.^ 

Another  witness,  Langlois,  a  haberdasher  of  Paris,  of  the 
same  Section  as  the  ex-juror  Aubry,  knew  him  "  to  be  an 
ignorant  tailor,  unable  to  read  or  write,  and  an  evil  man 
whom  he  had  often  heard  proposing  revolting  and  san- 
guinary motions.  He  saw  him  take  some  citizens  by  the 
collar,  and  threaten  others." 

"  He  congratulated  himself  on  the  victims  whom  he  had 
helped  to  send  to  the  scaffold.  He  pubhcly  boasted  that 
he  had  never  voted  except  for  death  at  the  trials  of  priests 
and  nobles,  who,  to  him,  were  all  food  for  the  guillotine."  ^ 

Citizen  Porcher,  a  cabinet-maker,  of  the  Rue  Mazarine 
in  the  Section  de  I'Unite,  knew  Fouquier-Tinville  only  by 
repute  and  from  sometimes  seeing  him  at  the  Tribunal. 
But  he  knew  Aubry,  the  ex- juror,  who  threatened  to 
denounce  him  to  the  Jacobin  Club,  because  one  day,  when 
on  guard  with  him,  he  had  expressed  indignation  at  the 
condemnation  of  four  or  five  prisoners  who  had  not  been 
allowed  to  speak  and  whose  accusations  had  not  even  received 
the  final  sanction  of  the  PubHc  Minister.     Out  of  this  there 

J  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  63,  folio  5. 

*  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  58,  folio  i. 

*  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  58,  folio  2. 


PARTIALITY    OF    JUDGES    AND    JURORS    271 

arose  a  quarrel,  and  the  officer  of  the  guard  intervened. 
"  He  had  always  known  Aubry  to  be  a  man  of  blood." 
He  had  seen  him  at  several  trials.  He  was  either  asleep, 
or  scarcely  listening. 

In  the  affair  of  Ferrand  and  Laruelle  ^  who  were  charged 
with  comphcity  in  an  alleged  conspiracy  at  Montauban, 
on  May  10,  1790,  the  witness  pointed  out  to  Fouquier  that 
the  accused  were  in  no  way  accomplices,  seeing  that  one  of 
them  had  been  at  Brest  and  the  other  at  Gondrecourt  in 
the  Meuse.  His  evidence  might  have  been  of  value.  Fouquier 
did  not  think  it  fitting  to  have  it  heard. 

Nevertheless  he  had  followed  the  course  of  this  trial,  which 
took  place  in  one  of  the  haUs  and  was  presided  over  by 
Dumas.  He  had  been  revolted  by  the  partiality  of  the  judges 
and  jurors.  Aubry  slept.  The  accused  were  cut  short  in  their 
speeches.  The  witnesses  for  the  prosecution  were  listened 
to  "  complacently  "  ;  the  witnesses  for  the  defence  "  in  a 
body."  They  made  a  hubbub.  Aubry  woke  up.  When 
the  jurors  returned  after  a  short  deliberation,  Aubry,  Hke 
the  rest,  was  convinced  of  the  facts  and  of  the  culpability  of 
the  accused. 2 

"  Aubry  could  neither  read  nor  write,"  declared  Robert 
Wolff,  the  registrar's  clerk.  "  He  belonged  to  my  Section. 
He  could  only  write  five  letters  in  print,  and  these  were 
enough  to  bring  him  in,  every  month,  five  hundred  and  forty 
livres  as  the  price  of  his  assassinations."  He  used  to  boast, 
besides,  in  the  cafe  at  the  comer  of  the  Rue  de  Buci  and  in 
that  of  Rue  de  la  Chaumiere,  where  he  went  daily,  that  he 
had  always  earned  his  money  well,  and  that  he  had  no  cause 
to  reproach  himself,  for  he  had  never  acquitted  anybody.^ 

Andre  Barraly,  aged  39,  hairdresser,  of  No.  34  Rue 
Neuve-des-Petits-Champs,  facing  the  Rue  Neuve-des- 
Bons-Enfants,  Section  Guillaume-TcU,  had  never  known 
Fouquier-Tinville   except   by   reputation.     He   never   had 

'  Captain  Ferrand  and  Captain  Laruelle  were  guillotined  on  9th 
of  Ventose  in  the  year  II. 

^  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  58,  folio  10. 
'  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  63,  folio  7, 


272  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

any  relation,  direct  or  indirect,  with  him,  "  In  his  capacity 
as  hairdresser,  either  he  himself  or  his  assistant,  Lingault, 
had  dressed  Robespierre's  hair  for  twelve  or  thirteen 
months  at  the  house  of  Duplay,  an  ex-juror  of  the 
Tribunal,  in  the  Rue  Saint-Honore,  opposite  the  Rue  Floren- 
tin.  He  had  dressed  Duplay's  hair  two  or  three  times  by 
chance  when  he  went  to  Robespierre,  because  Duplay  hap- 
pened to  be  in  a  hurry.  The  said  Duplay,  who  was  very 
reserved  and  haughty,  would  not  lower  himself  to  speak  to 
a  hairdresser."  ^ 

There  was  further  evidence  of  what  the  other  jurors  were 
hke — Renaudin,  the  maker  of  musical  instruments  and 
the  keeper  of  the  ball-room  at  the  Lumiere  Barrier  ;  Lohier, 
the  grocer  ;  and  Trinchard,  the  carpenter,  ^  Trinchard  said  : 
"  It  does  not  take  me  much  time  to  try  an  accused  person. 
The  mere  inspection  of  his  appearance  discloses  to  me  the 
morality  or  immorality  of  a  prisoner.  It  is  enough  for  me 
to  see  people  in  order  to  settle  on  my  verdict." 

It  was  also  Trinchard,  after  the  22nd  of  Prairial  and  when 
he  was  no  longer  a  juror  of  the  Tribunal  but  had  been 
appointed  a  member  of  the  Popular  Commission  of  the 
Museum  district,  who,  as  he  was  lunching  one  day  with 
several  of  his  former  colleagues,  said  to  them  :  "  The  Com- 
mission is  going  to  begin  its  operations  by  sending  to  you 
at  the  Tribunal  all  the  priests  and  nobles  in  the  prisons. 
I  hope  they  will  be  sent  to  the  guillotine." 

The  others  applauded. ^ 

But  the  examinations  of  the  witnesses  tell  us  nothing 
more  concerning  the  relations  between  thoSv.  jurors  and 
Fouquier-Tinville.  We  are,  therefore,  compelled  to  stop 
here. 

On  the  4th  of  Germinal,  Judicis,  the  Public  Prosecutor 
of  the  new  Tribunal  appointed  on  the  8th  of  Nivose  pre- 
ceding, had  drawn  up  his  indictment  against  Fouquier  and 

*  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  p.  58,  folio  12. 

*  For  Trinchard,  "  Nature's  man,"  see  A.  Dunoyer  :  Deux  JurSs  dtt- 
Tribunal  Revolutionnaire,  Paris,  Perrin,  1909. 

*  Archives  Nationales,  W.  500,  3rd  dossier,  p.  63,  folio  6. 


THE]  WRITS    OF    INDICTMENT  273 

his  accomplices.  The  accused  numbered  thirty.  At  their 
head  was  Antoine  Quentin  Fouquier-Tinville,  ex-Pubhc 
Prosecutor  of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal.  Then  came 
Delaporte,  ex-judge  ;  Foucault,  ex-judge  ;  Maire,  ex-judge  ; 
Scelher,  ex-Vice-President ;  Harny,  ex-judge ;  Dehege, 
ex-judge ;  Gamier-Launay,  ex-judge ;  Nauhn,  ex-Vice- 
President  ;  Felix,  ex- judge  ;  Bravet,  ex- judge  ;  Barbier, 
ex- judge  ;  and  Liendon,  ex-deputy  to  the  Public  Prosecu- 
tor. Finally  came  seventeen  former  jurors — Lohier, 
Trinchard,  Leroy.  called  "  Tenth  of  August,"  Renaudin, 
Chretien,  Gauthier,  Didier,  Ganney,  Vilate,  Duplay,  Prieur, 
Chatelet,  Brochet,  Girard,  Trey,  Pigeot,  and  Aubry. 

Judicis  declared  that  he  had  made  a  fresh  examination  of 
the  documents  delivered  either  to  his  predecessor  or  to 
himself. 

From  this  it  followed  that  Fouquier  "  abetted  the  projects 
of  a  liberticidal  faction  known  under  the  name  of  that  of 
Robespierre,  Saint- Just,  Couthon,  and  others  who  fell  under 
the  sword  of  the  law  after  the  9th  of  Thermidor."  The 
writs  of  indictment  which  he  presented  were  full  of  erasures, 
commitments,  and  interlineal  insertions  that  were  without 
authority.  He  signed  these.  He  presented  others  that 
were  not  filled  in,  others  in  which  the  names  of  the  accused 
were  inserted  after  the  indictments  had  been  made  out,  or  at 
the  moment  when  the  case  was  being  heard,  by  a  different 
hand  and  in  different  ink  from  that  in  the  body  of  the  docu- 
ments, others  in  which  several  names  written  in  small  char- 
acters were  sometimes  intercalated,  sometimes  written  on 
the  margin  without  authority,  and  from  which  the  names  of 
other  accused  persons  had  been  erased  and  effaced.  He  pre- 
sented other  indictments  in  which  the  statements  relative  to 
the  names  of  the  accused  give  those  of  certain  persons  of 
whom  no  mention  is  made  in  the  remainder  of  the  indictment. 
He  inscribed  in  one  indictment  the  name  of  a  person  already 
condemned  to  death  and  executed.  He  pleaded  in  court 
that  the  corpse  of  a  prisoner  who  had  stabbed  himself  should 
be  taken  to  the  scaffold.  He  pleaded  in  court  for  the 
execution  of  women  who  had  declared  themselves  pregnant, 


274  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

and  that  before  the  medical  officers  had  pronounced  on  their 
condition. 

He  knew  that  Fouquier  had  protested  his  humanity,  the 
rectitude  of  his  conduct  as  a  magistrate,  and  his  absolute 
probity.  For  his  own  part,  as  Public  Prosecutor,  so  far 
from  admitting  that  Fouquier  has  given  proof  of  his  inno- 
cence, he  considered  that  he  was  guilty,  and  that  he  had 
been  abetted  by  the  ex-judges,  his  ex-deputies,  and  the 
ex- jurors  of  the  Tribunal,  men  whose  bad  moral  character 
was  known  and  who  were  closely  allied  with  the  conspirators, 
those  despots  and  tyrants  who  murdered  instead  of  judging. 

If  Judicis  had  been  unable  to  make  out  a  detailed  list  of 
the  documents  incriminating  Fouquier  by  their  faults  of 
form  and  the  omissions  with  which  they  swarmed,  the 
reason  was  that  their  number  was  too  great,  and  he  would 
have  risked  "  causing  confusion." 

"  Whilst  recognising  that  among  those  who  were  con- 
demned there  were  guilty  persons  who  deserved  to  be 
punished,  one  cannot,  however,  distinguish  those  from  the 
innocent,  and  the  forms  even  severer  than  those  of  martial 
law  that  were  employed  to  secure  condemnations  are 
enough  to  prevent  us  from  making  the  distinction,  so  that 
we  can  legally  regard  all  those  acts  of  condemnation  as  pure 
murders."  ^ 

»  Archives  Nationales,  W.  499,  dossier  550,  p.  9. 


CHAPTER    XIII 

THE  FINAL  EXAMINATION  OF  FOUQUIER-TINVILLE.      THE 
PROCEEDINGS  IN   COURT.      VERDICT   AND    DEATH 

THE  preliminary  inquiry  had  come  to  an  end.  An 
order  of  the  4th  of  Germinal  in  the  year  III.,  signed 
by  Judges  Agier,  Liger,  Debregeas,  Favart,  Mazerat, 
Grand,  Godeau,  Gaillart-Lecart,  Godard,  Pissis, 
Devillas,  and  Bertrand  d'Aubagne,  granted  the  demand  of 
Judicis  the  Public  Prosecutor,  and  gave  him  a  writ  of 
indictment  against  Fouquier. 

The  hour  was  approaching  when  Fouquier  was  to  appear 
before  his  judges  ;  but,  previous  to  this,  he  had  to  undergo 
a  fresh  cross-examination. 

On  the  6th  of  Germinal,  commissioners  went  to  the  Plessis 
prison  whither  the  prisoner  had  been  taken.  These 
commissioners  were  Jean  Debregeas,  Vice-President  of  the 
new  Tribunal,  and  Cambon,  Judicis'  deputy.^ 

From  its  beginning  the  examination  was  directed  to  the 
capital  point — the  indictments.  The  commissioners  had 
in  their  hands  those  terrible  documents,  fatal  to  those 
whom  they  had  sent  to  the  scaffold,  fatal  also,  by  a  reaction, 
to  him  who  had  signed,  initialled,  annotated,  or  com- 
piled them.  They  existed.  He  was  responsible  for  them. 
They  were  filled  with  erasures,  commitments,  and  unauth- 
orised insertions.  The  names  of  the  accused  were  written 
after  the  indictments  had  been  made  out,  and  in  a  different 
hand  and  with  different  ink  from  that  in  the  body  of  the 
documents.     There  were  family  names  presented  in  a  sum- 

*  At  his  first  examination,  on  the  ist  of  Frimaire  in  the  year  III., 
he  had  been  questioned  by  Forcstier  in  the  presence  of  the  latter's 
deputy,  Jean  Jacques  Granger.  On  that  occasion  he  had  been 
taken  from  the  Plessis  prison  to  the  Tribunal.  (See  Chapter  IX., 
P-  I95-) 

275 


276  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

mary  form  without  the  Christian  names,  descriptions,  ages, 
or  designation  of  the  place  of  origin.  It  had  not  been 
possible  to  identify  them,  from  lack  of  time,  between  the 
evening  and  the  following  morning. 

Fouquier  claimed  that  all  the  indictments  which  he 
presented  were  regular  ;  that  these  indictments  had  been 
written  by  his  secretaries.  This  was  his  system — to  throw 
all  responsibility  on  others.  But  these  indictments  were 
signed  by  him.  The  judge  did  not  point  this  out  to  him. 
He  allowed  him  to  go  on  speaking.  Fouquier  declared  that 
if  these  indictments  were  shown  him,  he  would  explain 
what  "  people  affected  not  to  know." 

Never,  he  said,  had  he  presented  blank  indictments  to 
the  judges  to  sign.  But  as,  after  the  law  of  the  22nd  of 
Prairial,  private  preliminary  examinations  had  been  sup- 
pressed, the  Christian  names,  ages,  descriptions,  and  places 
of  birth  could  only  be  filled  in  after  the  prisoners  had  been 
asked  to  state  them.  Family  names  had  always  been 
inserted  in  the  indictment  as  well  as  in  the  text. 

Never,  to  his  knowledge,  had  he  made  any  additional 
insertion  between  the  lines  of  the  indictments. 

He  did  not  remember  that  he  had  ever  made  out  an 
indictment  against  a  person  who  had  already  been  con- 
demned. 

The  judge  asked  him  whether  he  had  not  pleaded  in  court 
to  have  carried  to  the  scaffold  the  corpse  of  a  prisoner 
who  had  stabbed  himself  at  the  moment  he  heard  his 
death-sentence  (Valaze,  the  Girondin  Deputy). 

"  Having  regard  to  the  public  clamour,"  answered 
Fouquier,  "  and  in  order  to  avoid  the  greater  disorders  that 
were  threatened  at  the  moment  when  Valaze  stabbed 
himself,  I  believed  it  prudent  to  ask  that  he  should  be  taken 
to  the  place  intended  for  the  execution.  I  may  have  been 
mistaken.  But  a  mistake  cannot  be  imputed  as  a  crime. 
I  had  to  execute  the  judgment  of  the  Tribunal." 

Q. — "  Have  you  demanded  the  execution  of  women 
who  were  pregnant,  instead  of  waiting  for  the  opinion  of  the 
doctors  ?  " 


A    JUDICIAL    ERROR  277 

A. — "I  have  respected  declarations  of  pregnancy." 

Q. — "  Have  you  ever  gone  into  the  jurors'  room  at  the 
moment  when  they  were  deliberating-?  " 

A. — "  I  have  never  gone  alone  into  the  room.  I  have 
never  interrupted  the  deliberations.  I  have  never  taken 
part  in  the  jurors'  deliberations." 

Q. — "  Have  you  presented  an  indictment  against  155 
persons  charged  with  conspiracy  in  the  prisons  ?  Was  not 
the  word,  twice,  placed  alongside  three  names  to  indicate 
two  persons  under  a  single  name,  so  that  the  total  number 
of  persons  was  158  instead  of  155  ?  " 

A. — "  I  have  in  fact  made  out  an  indictment  against  155 
persons  charged  with  conspiracy  in  the  Luxembourg,  on  the 
i8th  of  Messidor.  According  to  President  Dumas,  the 
intention  of  the  Committee  of  Pubhc  Safety  was  that  they 
should  all  be  tried  at  the  same  time.  But  I  had  been  to  the 
Committee  that  evening,  and  it  was  decided  that  there 
should  be  three  trials.  I  do  not  know  what  is  meant  by  the 
word,  twice,  which  cannot  have  been  written  by  my  hand 
or  by  orders  from  me.  Moreover,  the  indictments  were 
handed  into  the  registry,  after  the  trial. 

"  Now,  I  have  all  sorts  of  reasons  for  suspecting  that 
omissions  and  additions  were  made  at  the  registry.  I  can 
be  in  no  way  responsible  for  those  that  may  have  been 
made  either  in  the  indictments  or  in  other  documents. 
Moreover,  when  I  am  shown  the  documents,  I  shall  be  in  a 
position  to  give  the  most  precise  explanations.  But  I  am 
persuaded  that  the  number  in  question  never  exceeded  155. 

"  Besides,  I  have  never  meddled  with  the  writing  out  of 
the  sentences." 

"  In  the  first  sentence  on  a  section  of  the  Luxembourg 
prisoners,"  asked  the  judge,  "  was  not  a  man  named  Morin 
included,  although  he  was  not  mentioned  in  the  indict- 
ment ?  " 

This  was  an  embarrassing  question,  for  here,  certainly, 
there  had  been  a  judicial  error,  and  a  Morin  or  Maurin 
had  on  that  day  been  guillotined  instead  of  another  man. 

Fouquier  answered  imperturbably  :    "I  am  always  faced 


278  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

with  indictments  that  I  have  nothing  to  do  with.  This 
Morin,  so  far  as  I  remember,  was  not  tried  on  the  19th 
but  on  the  22nd.  Before  him,  a  man  named  Morin,  Madame 
du  Barry's  steward,  was  tried  and  condemned.  Moreover, 
a  Morin,  the  ex-Marechale  de  Biron's  steward,  had  been  tried 
and  condemned  at  a  period  which  I  do  not  precisely  remem- 
ber. The  Morin  of  the  Luxembourg  Conspiracy  had  been 
quartermaster  in  Capet's  guards.  When  the  documents 
are  shown  me,  I  will  give  the  most  precise  explanations." 
Were  the  documents  shown  to  Fouquier  in  the  course 
of  the  proceedings  ?  What  were  his  explanations  ?  In 
regard  to  this  we  know  nothing. 

Denys  Morin,  Madame  du  Barry's  servant,  had  been 
guillotined  on  the  3rd  of  Nivose  in  the  year  II.,  more  than 
twelve  months  previously.  A  Nicolas  Morin,  a  farmer, 
had  been  acquitted  on  the  26th  of  Germinal  in  the  year  11. 
A  Jacques  Morin,  a  farmer  and  carter,  had  been  set  free  on 
the  6th  of  Fructidor  in  the  year  II.  A  Jean  Morin,  a  trooper 
in  the  Revolutionary  army,  had  also  been  set  free  on  the  nth 
of  the  same  month.  A  Charles  Sosthene  Morin,  grocer, 
auctioneer  and  tax-collector,  had  been  guillotined  on  the 
13th  of  Messidor  in  the  year  II.  But  the  error  in  regard 
to  the  persons  with  which  Fouquier  was  charged,  concerned 
Louis  Clerc  Morin,  quartermaster  in  the  King's  Guard, 
guillotined  on  the  22nd  of  Messidor  in  the  year  II.,  and  Jean 
Dominique  Maurin,  the  Marechale  de  Biron's  bookkeeper 
and  estate-agent,  guillotined,  instead  of  the  last  mentioned, 
on  the  19th  of  Messidor  in  the  year  II.  Fouquier's  answer, 
on  this  matter,  was  decidedly  evasive.  The  cross-  examina- 
tion continued. 

"  Did  not  Fouquier  demand  the  punishment  of  a  witness 
who  said  that  no  conspiracy  existed  in  the  Luxembourg  ?  " 
"  This  witness^  was  arrested  for  the  evasions,  tergiversa- 
tions, ambiguities,  and  vacillations  in  his  statement,  which 
appeared  to  disclose  a  dishonest  person." 

For  his  own  part,  he,  Fouquier,  took  care  not  to  base 
his  speech  for  the  prosecution  on  the  conspiracy.     He  even 

»  The  turnkey,  Lesenne. 


A    xMORTAL    ENEMY  279 

had  on  that  day,  "  a  very  sharp  altercation  with  Dumas  " 
regarding  the  latter' s  refusal  to  allow  some  of  the  accused 
to  defend  themselves. 

Before  allowing  the  cross-examination  to  close,  Fouquier 
was  desirous  of  taking  his  own  precautions,  and  he  made  the 
following  declaration  regarding  Paris,  the  registrar,  and 
Robert  Wolff,  the  registrar's  clerk.  He  pointed  out  that 
"  Paris,  the  present  registrar  of  the  Tribunal,  had  declared 
himself  to  be  his  mortal  enemy,  both  in  public  and  in 
private."  He  spoke  of  the  dinners  that  were  held  by  the 
registrar's  clerks  (particularly  that  of  the  27th  of  Frimaire, 
the  eve  of  the  day  on  which  he  was  sent  for  trial) .  At  those 
dinners,  "  they  occupied  themselves  with  Fouquier's  trial 
and  the  means  they  would  take  to  ruin  him." 

"  Paris,"  he  said,  "  has  even  boasted  that  if  he  were 
wanted  to  hang  me,  he  would  pull  the  cord." 

Fouquier  said  he  employed  every  means  for  releasing 
from  prison  this  very  man  who  was  to  appear  against  him 
in  the  capacity  of  accuser  and  lover  of  justice. 

"  About  three  weeks  ago,"  Fouquier  went  on,  "  Paris 
went  to  the  Cafe  de  Chartres,  in  the  Palais  Egahte,  with 
several  persons.  There  he  pubhshed  and  indicated  the  day 
on  which  I  should  be  placed  on  trial.  He  aggravated  the 
alleged  crimes  that  are  imputed  to  me.  He  went  back  there 
again  and  spoke  in  a  perfidious  manner  and  one  likely  to 
rouse  public  opinion  against  me." 

Then  came  a  capital  charge. 

"  In  order  more  certainly  to  reach  his  end,  Paris  had 
carried  off  by  force,  on  the  19th  of  Nivose  last,  all  the 
extracts  from  the  sentences  and  the  receipts  of  the  Com- 
mission of  National  Revenues  which  were  in  the  prosecutor's 
office,  and  which  were  my  guarantee  in  regard  to  the  trial 
we  are  dealing  with  to-day,  because  I  had  taken  the  precau- 
tion of  having  handed  to  me  each  day  the  extracts  from  the 
sentences  bearing  the  names  of  the  condemned  persons, 
both  in  order  to  have  those  sentences  proceeded  with,  and 
to  transmit  them  to  the  National  Estates  and  to  the  Com- 
mission of  National  Revenues.     The  number  of  these  docu- 


28o  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

ments  has  neither  been  ascertained  nor  verified.  Thus  it 
has  been  within  the  power  of  Paris  to  take  away  those  he 
judged  fit.  These  facts  are  known  to  the  brothers  Toutain,* 
who  have  done  all  they  could  to  stop  them.  They  are 
known  to  Citizen  Leblois,^  who  had  then  no  position  there, 
and  to  Fran9ois,  one  of  the  attendants  in  the  prosecutor's 
office. 

"  Moreover,  Paris  had  previously  taken  away  a  hundred 
notes  of  papers  relating  to  cases  that  had  been  tried,  without 
giving  any  receipt  for  them,  though  I  would  have  given 
these  to  the  constituted  authorities  as  fast  as  they  had  been 
transmitted  to  me. 

"  I  have  learnt  that,  at  the  time  of  the  departure  of 
Citizen  Granger,  the  PubUc  Prosecutor's  deputy  who  was 
entrusted  with  the  documents  relating  to  the  present  trial, 
that  magistrate  had  handed  them  over  to  Paris  and  to  Wolff ; 
that  they  had  been  deposited  with  them  up  to  the  period 
when  the  trial  had  been  committed  to  Citizen  Cambon. 
One  cannot  doubt  for  a  moment  that  they  did  not  neglect 
to  read  those  documents.  It  was  Paris  who  presented  the 
first  indictment  for  signature  in  court.  On  the  28th  of 
Frimaire,  the  day  when  I  appeared  before  the  Tribunal, 
it  was  also  Paris  who  acted  officially,  for  he  publicly  brought 
into  court  a  bundle  of  documents  which  he  placed  on  the 
Pubhc  Prosecutor's  table.  Lastly,  he  also  acted  officially 
in  this  same  trial  by  signing  the  judgment  passed  by  the 
Tribunal  on  the  30th  of  Ventose  last,  and  by  writing  a  letter 
to  the  Pubhc  Prosecutor  dated  the  2nd  or  3rd  of  the  current 
month." 

In  accordance  with  those  facts,  and  others  which  he 
intended  to  develop  later,  Fouquier-Tinville  declared  that 
he  knew  no  law  permitting  a  witness  to  act  officially,  in  any 
manner  whatsoever,  in  a  trial  at  which  he  was  a  witness. 
Here,  in  this  trial,  not  only  had  Paris,  Wolff,  and  others 
acted  officially,  but  they  had  even  displayed,  in  several 

»  Employees  in  the  prosecutor's  ofiS.ce. 

"  The  Public  Prosecutor  of  the  Tribunal  established  on  the  23rd  of 
Thermidor,  who  drew  up  the  first  indictment  against  Fouquier. 


AN    ADVOCATE    ASSIGNED'  281 

public  and  private  places,  their  excess  of  hatred  against  the 
accused,  a  fact  that  ought  to  cause  the  Tribunal  henceforth 
to  look  on  them  with  suspicion. ^ 

The  judge  asked  Fouquier  if  he  had  chosen  a  defender. 
The  ex-Public  Prosecutor  answered  that  Citizen  Lafleuterie, 
whom  he  had  chosen  as  his  counsel,  having  informed  him 
that  he  had  been  summoned  as  a  witness  for  the  defence 
by  Citizen  Naulin  and  other  fellow-prisoners,  and  that  he 
was  too  scrupulous  to  accept  the  position  of  defender  in 
the  case,  he  knew  of  nobody  else  whom  he  could  entrust 
with  his  defence.  An  official  advocate.  Citizen  Gaillard,* 
was  assigned  to  him. 

The  list  of  jurors  was  then  communicated  to  Fouquier — 
Lapeyre,  Bressand,  Husson,  Toumier,  Taillerat,  Lebrun, 
Mesange,  Bouygues,  Duprat,  Vignalet,  and  Laporte. 

He  was  acquainted  with  none  of  those  jurors,  except 
Duprat.  He  said  that  his  brothers,  the  Duprats  of  Avignon, 
had  been  tried  and  condemned,  and  that  he,  Fouquier,  had 
appeared  against  them ;  that  Duprat  was  an  intimate  friend  of 
Jourdan,  who  had  been  condemned  and  against  whom  he  had 
appeared,  etc.  For  all  these  reasons  he  challenged  Duprat. 
As  regards  the  others  he  invited  the  Tribunal  to  ask  them  to 
remember  whether  they  had  any  relatives  or  friends  or  clients 
condemned  between  March  loth,  1793,  and  the  9th  of 
Thermidor,  1794.     In  case  there  should  be  a  fresh  selection 

•  In  the  course  of  his  trial,  on  the  22nd  of  Germinal,  Fouquier 
sent  a  note  to  the  Tribunal,  "  hoping  to  convince  it  that,  since  his 
imprisonment,  documents  had  been  taken  away  from  his  room  and 
from  the  registry  by  Paris,  a  witness  whose  hate  and  partiality 
had  been  displayed  yesterday."  Fouquier  requested  that  it  might 
please  the  Tribunal  that  in  his  presence  and  in  the  presence  of  the 
Public  Prosecutor  a  search  should  be  made  in  the  judges'  rooms  for 
papers  that  might  have  been  hidden  in  there  by  Paris. 

The  Tribunal  immediately  acceded  to  this  request.  (W.  499, 
dossier  550,  p.  3.) 

Paris  was  heard  as  a  witness  at  the  trial  in  spite  of  Fouquier's 
protests.  The  President  read  to  the  jurors  the  law  relating  to  the 
grounds  on  which  a  witness  could  be  challenged,  and  declared  that 
the  Tribunal  would  receive  the  evidence  of  Paris.  (Archives  Na- 
tionales,  W.  499,  dossier  550,  p.  6.) 

*  Gaillard  de  la  Ferriere. 


THE    JURORS  283 

Liger/  the  Vice-President,  presided  over  the  proceedings, 
with  Godart,  Grand,  Gaillard-Lecart,  and  Bertrand  d'Au- 
bagne  as  assessors.  Fifteen  jurors^  were  seated  facing  the 
accused.  Very  different  from  the  former  jurors  of  the 
Terror,  from  Chretien  the  lemonade-seller,  Renaudin 
the  maker  of  musical  instruments,  Vilate  the  dandy,  Duplay 
the  carpenter,  Prieur  the  painter,  Trey  the  tailor,  etc., 
whom  they  had  before  them,  these  Thermidorian  jurors 
were  provincials  who  had  come  from  a  distance,  strangers 
to  the  fevers  that  had  shaken  Paris  during  the  sixteen  months 
of  the  Terror.  They  were  people  who  clung  to  order  and 
did  not  love  blood.  The  violent  acts  they  had  witnessed 
in  their  Departments  during  the  Terror,  the  denunciations, 
depopulation  by  the  guillotine— these  they  reprobated. 
They  had  seen  danger  and  death  at  close  quarters.  They 
were  determined  to  cause  those  who  were  responsible  for 
the  system  that  had  been  overthrown,  to  expiate  the  evil 
they  had  done.  But  they  would  know  how  to  follow  the 
proceedings  patiently.  They  did  not  declare  that  they  were 
convinced  by  the  indictments.  They  would  hsten  atten- 
tively to  the  evidence.  And  at  the  moment  when  they  gave 
their  verdict,  they  would  show  themselves  moved  by  feelings 
of  moderation,  for  they  would  admit  extenuating  circum- 
stances, and  would  not  condemn  in  the  mass.  The  advo- 
cates were,  Cressend,  Villain,  Boutroue,  Gobert,  Gueneau, 
and  Domanget.  Gaillard  de  la  Ferriere  assisted  Fouquier. 
Lafieuterie  had  had  to  abandon  his  defence  for  reasons 
which  Fouquier  explained  at  the  end  of  his  cross-examina- 
tion on  the  6th  of  Germinal. 

'  He  had  been  President  of  the  Criminal  Tribunal  of  the  Loirct. 
In  the  year  VIII.,  following  upon  the  decrees  of  the  13th,  14th,  15th, 
1 6th,  17th  and  i8th  of  Germinal  (April  3  to  8,  1800),  Liger-Verdigny 
was  appointed  a  member  of  the  Court  of  Cassation.  He  was  re- 
elected by  the  nomination  of  February  15,  1815,  and  remained  a 
member  of  the  Court  of  Cassation  until  1830.  He  then  appears  in  the 
Royal  Almanac  under  the  name  of  Liger  de  Verdigny.  From  1830  to 
1832  he  was  an  honorary  counsel,  and  he  does  not  appear  in  the  Royal 
Almanac  after  this  date.  He  had  been  a  chevalier  of  the  Legion  of 
Honour  since  1816. 

»  Rouitborel  Abadie-Verduisant,  Cadet,  and  Gabriel  Saint-Horrent 
had  been  elected  as  supplementary  jurors. 


284  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

Four  hundred  and  nineteen  witnesses  were  to  give  evidence 
in  the  trial.  The  case  promised  to  be  a  long  one.  What  a 
contrast  with  those  rushed  through  in  a  few  hours  before 
the  9th  of  Thermidor  ! 

The  proceedings  in  the  trial  of  Fouquier  and  his  "  accom- 
phces  "  lasted  a  month  and  nine  days,  from  the  8th  of 
Germinal  until  the  17th  of  Floreal.  How  are  we  to  relate 
these  proceedings  ?  So  far  as  we  know  there  remains  no 
written  account  of  them.^  We  have  to-day  only  two 
documents  bearing  upon  them — the  printed  account  of 
the  trial,  and  that  in  Buchez  and  Roux's  Histoire  Parle- 
mentaire.  Both  are  open  to  the  suspicion  of  partiality. 
They  are  often  curtailed,  especially  towards  the  end  of  the 
proceedings.  They  are  inexact  on  many  points,  and  full  of 
printer's  errors.  Proper  names  are  wrongly  spelled.  They 
do  not  give  us  the  answers  of  the  principal  prisoner,  Fouquier, 
except  in  unsatisfactory  and  colourless  condensations. 
Fouquier,  in  spite  of  his  fatigue,  must  have  defended  himself 
fiercely,  and  with  talent. 

We  beheve,  then,  that  his  real  defence  consisted  of :  (i) 
the  memorials  he  had  drawn  up  and  which  we  have  repro- 
duced in  full,  as  they  exist  among  the  National  Archives, 
written  in  his  own  hand  ;  (2)  his  answers  at  the  two  cross- 
examinations  which  he  underwent  and  which  we  have  also 
reproduced  impartially. 

At  the  opening  of  the  proceedings,  at  the  hearing  on  the 
8th  of  Germinal,  a  statement  was  made  of  the  charges 
brought  against  Fouquier  and  his  accomplices. 

"  Citizens  and  jurors,"  said  Cambon,  the  Public  Prosecu- 
tor's deputy,  "  I  come  in  the  name  of  the  Public  Prosecutor 
to  unmask  great  crimes  and  to  denounce  great  offenders. 

"  These  crimes  are  those  of  the  liberticidal  faction  which, 
by  its  infamous  plots,  was  able  for  eighteen  months  to  beat 
down  the  courage  of  all,  to  repress  even  the  energy  of  the 
national  representation,  to  spread  terror  and  consternation 
on  the  soil  of  liberty. 

1  Except  the  official  report  of  the  hearing,  which  is  preserved  among 
the  Archives  (W.  499,  dossier  550,  p.  7). 


THE    SCARCITY    OF    CARTS  285 

"  Yes,  citizens,  whilst  on  the  frontier  vaUant  defenders 
of  our  country  were  cementing  young  liberty  with  their 
blood,  whilst  the  noise  of  their  victories  was  resounding  on 
all  sides,  the  most  shameful  defeats  of  morality  as  well  as  of 
justice  were  in  this  building  dishonouring  the  magistracy 
and  degrading  the  French  name."^ 

At  the  hearing  on  the  9th,  Fouquier,  questioned  by  the 
President  on  the  arrest  of  Lesenne,  the  turnkey  of  the 
Luxembourg,-  who  had  declared  that  he  had  no  acquaintance 
with  the  conspiracy  in  the  prisons,  answered  :  "  The  witness 
shuffled  in  his  evidence.  He  contradicted  himself.  I  never 
asked  for  more  than  his  provisional  arrest.  But  Dumas, 
whose  ferocity  everybody  knows  (laughter  and  murmurs), 
Dumas  had  the  judgment  made  out  in  a  different  sense. 
Then  that  is  not  my  fault. "^ 

Later,  he  said :  "I  received  the  orders  of  the  two 
Committees." 

On  the  subject  of  the  carts  which  he  ordered  in  the 
morning  without  knowing  whether  any  persons  would  be 
condemned  during  the  day,  he  answered  :  "It  was  because 
of  the  scarcity  of  carts." 

Then  he  pointed  out  that  the  witness  who  was  accusing 
him  (Senar),  "  had  let  slip  the  words,  the  Thermidorian 
faction,"  an  insult  to  the  Government  actually  in  power. 

As  regards  the  sentence  on  the  Comte  de  Fleury,  who  was 
sent  to  death  in  a  red  shirt,  Fouquier  denied  all  responsi- 
bility. Gastrez,  an  employee  in  the  Commission  of  Pubhc 
Instruction,  charged  him  with  this,  and  formally  identified 
him  as  having  said  to  Dumas  :  "  This  gentleman  seems  to 
me  to  be  in  a  hurry.     I  am  going  to  send  for  him." 

"  You  are  Fouquier,"  said  Gastrez.  "  You  were  a  httle 
stouter  then,  but  I  recognise  you." 

Fouquier  :    "  I  do  not  remember  that  trial." 

(And  he  searched  for  it  in  his  portfohos.) 

>  Buchez  and  Roux,  XXXIV.,  p.  292,  and  W.  499,  dossier  550, 
p.  7. 

^  He  was  the  first  witness  to  give  evidence. 
^  Ibid.,  p.  304. 


286  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

In  general,  to  the  evidence  concerning  the  conspiracies 
in  the  prisons,  the  hsts,  and  the  amalgamations,  he  answered 
that  the  facts  did  not  concern  him,  that  he  had  had  his  orders. 
He  denied  the  remarks  attributed  to  him,  or  said  he  did  not 
remember  them.  Or  he  quoted,  with  precision,  the  resolu- 
tions of  the  Committee  of  Public  Safety,  that  of  the  17th  of 
Messidor,  for  example,  relating  to  the  155,  in  order  to  shelter 
himself.     Or  he  said  :   "  I  was  not  sitting  on  that  occasion." 

"  What  answer  have  you  in  regard  to  Morin  ?  "  Cambon 
asked  him, 

Fouquier  :  "  The  witness  did  not  say  that  it  was  I  who 
was  sitting.  Besides,  I  was  the  prosecutor.  I  was  neither 
judge  nor  juror.  Moreover,  I  deny  the  remarks.  Morin, 
the  quartermaster,  is  on  the  list." 

This  was  not  answering  the  question.  For  an  examination 
of  the  indictments  proves  to-day  that  there  had  been  a 
mistake  in  the  persons,  and  that  that  mistake  was  to  be 
attributed  to  the  negligence  or  precipitation  of  Fouquier 
and  his  subordinates. 

Moreover,  he  replied  to  Baraguay  d'Hilliers,  ex-General 
of  the  Army  of  the  Rhine,  who  gave  evidence  against  him 
in  regard  to  the  Luxembourg  conspiracy : 

"  The  witness  gave  his  evidence  with  resentment.  He  had 
been  placed  on  trial.     And  yet  he  had  been  acquitted." 

To  which  Baraguay  d'Hilliers  rejoined :  "  Fouquier 
had  relations  with  Boyaval  at  the  Luxembourg  in  order  to 
obtain  lists  of  proscribed  persons.  It  was  Boyaval  him- 
self who  told  me  50."i 

Later,  Leroy,  called  "Tenth  of  August,"  having  exclaimed: 
"  You  are  vilifying  the  institution  of  the  jury  !  "  Fouquier 
added.  "  It  will  be  ended  all  the  sooner.  You  must 
condemn  us.     Condemn  us." 

He  laid  stress  on  the  immoral  character  of  the  spy, 
Benoit,  the  maker  of  hsts.  "  I  never  wished  to  listen  to 
him." 

Benoit,  who  was  in  court  as  a  witness,  declared  :  "I 
have  never  made  a  list." 

>  Buchez  and  Roux,  XXXIV.,  p.  332. 


FOUOUIER    UNDER    EXAMINATION  287 

Fouquier  then,  in  order  "  to  roast  "  Benoit,  got  Cambon 
to  read  some  compromising  and  instructive  letters  written 
by  that  witness. 

Other  witnesses,  one  of  whom  was  Vonschriltz,  a  carpenter 
and  pohce  inspector,  affirmed  that  they  had  seen  Fouquier 
come  to  Bicetre,  and  that  he  had  a  Hst  ;  that  Fouquier 
caused  four  or  five  informers  to  be  sent  down  to  him  and 
had  their  irons  removed.^ 

Fouquier  answered  :  "I  have  carried  out  the  orders  of 
the  superior  authorities." 

In  the  course  of  the  long  discussion  that  took  place 
on  the  affair  of  the  Luxembourg  Conspiracy,  the  President 
asked  Fouquier  :  "  Why  did  you  not  arrange  for  the  court 
to  hear  aU  the  witnesses  who  were  summoned  to  give  evi- 
dence at  the  time  of  the  first  "  batch'  ?  " 

Fouquier  :  "  I  always  asked  for  this  to  be  done.  I  asked 
on  that  occasion  for  all  the  witnesses  to  be  heard.  I  do  not 
know  why  they  were  not  heard.  It  sometimes  happened 
that  the  President  closed  the  case." 

The  President :  "  You  ought  then  to  have  asked  for  and 
demanded  the  continuation  of  the  hearing  of  the  witnesses." 

Fouquier  :   "I  did  so." 

Cambon  :  "I  have  in  my  hand  the  official  report  of  the 
hearing  ;   there  is  no  mention  in  it  of  that  demand." 

Fouquier:  "That  is  an  omission.  I  was  not  com- 
missioned to  make  out  the  official  report.  I  did  not  sign 
it.  Besides,  the  matter  must  have  reference  to  the  circum- 
stances and  the  persons  who  assisted  me."^ 

In  regard  to  the  condemnation  of  Lomenie  de  Brienne,  a 
witness  declared :  "  I  remember  the  trial  of  Elisabeth,  Louis 
Capet's  sister.  The  ex-Comte  de  Lomenie  de  Brienne  was 
tried  with  her.  Dumas  reproached  the  ex-Comte  de  Brienne 
with  having  been  a  Minister  in  1788,  with  having  caused 
himself  to  be  invited  to  be  Mayor  by  forty  neighbouring 
Communes,  and  he  was  guillotined." 

Fouquier  :   "  On  that  day  I  returned  from  the  Committee 

'  Buchez  and  Roux,  XXXIV.,  pp.  349-355. 
»  Buchez  and  Roux,  XXXIV.,  p.  365. 


288  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

of  Public  Safety  at  five  o'clock  in  the  morning.  I  was 
unable  to  appear  in  court.  I  recommended  that  the  greatest 
precaution  should  be  taken  regarding  several  of  the 
accused.  I  N^ished  to  save  Brienne.  The  invitations  of 
the  forty  Communes  were  produced.  They  were  handed 
over  by  a  resolution  of  the  Government.  I  may  add  that 
Brienne  was  charged  vsdth  being  the  accompHce  of  the 
woman  Canisy,  his  niece. "^ 

At  the  same  day's  hearing,  a  witness,  Thierret-Grandpre, 
said  that  on  the  26th  of  Prairial  Fouquier  had  gone  to 
Bicetre  along  vvith  Lanne  to  draw  up  a  Hst  of  thirty-three 
alleged  conspirators,  and  he  read  the  following  letter,  written 
and  signed  in  Fouquier' s  hand : 

"  The  Pubhc  Prosecutor  of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal  to 
Citizen  Lanne,  assistant  in  the  Commission  of  Civil  Adminis- 
tration, Pohce,  and  Tribunals. 

"  Paris,  26th  of  Prairial  of  the  year  IL 
"  Citizen,  enclosed  is  a  statement  of  the  suspected  persons 
who  were  found  in  our  inquiry,  made  to-day   at  Bicetre. 
I  invite  you  to  send  me,  to-morrow  at  latest,  all  the  docu- 
ments concerning  this  case,  especially  the  resolutions. 

"  Greeting  and  fraternity, 
"  A.  Q.  Fouquier."^ 

On  the  next  day  Lanne  filled  in  the  blank  space  in  the 
resolution  which  the  Commission  had  passed  the  day  before, 
inserted  in  it  the  thirty-three  names,  and  sent  to  Fouquier 
the  resolution  of  the  Committee  of  Pubhc  Safety  of  the  25th 
of  Prairial,  and  that  which  the  Commission  had  just  passed. 
Those  thirty-three  persons  were  tried,  as  we  have  seen. 
Fouquier  answered  "  that  he  had  no  initiative." 

At  the  opening  of  the  hearing  of  the  18th  of  Germinal, 
Fouquier  explained  that  he  found  himself  in  an  awkward 

»  Anne  Marie  Charlotte  de  Lomenie,  the  wife  of  Canisy,  was  guillo- 
tined on  the  2ist  of  Floreal  in  the  year  II.  Buchez  and  Roux, 
XXXIV.,  p.  421. 

»  Buchez  and  Roux,  XXXIV.,  p.  432. 


"THE   RED    SHIRTS"  289 

position  owing  to  the  arrest  of  Collot  d'Herbois,  Billaud 
Varenne,  and  others. ^  He  had  not  foreseen  this  when  he 
wrote  his  memorials  for  his  defence. 

Thierriet-Grandpre  spoke  of  Lomenie  de  Brienne,  and  said 
that  he  enjoyed  an  honourable  reputation,  that  he  was 
regarded  as  the  father  of  the  unfortunate. 

Fouquier  answered  that  this  was  true  ;  that  "  imbued 
"with  respect  and  veneration  for  ex-Minister  Lomenie,  he  had 
made  arrangements  to  sit  at  his  trial  and  to  lay  stress  on  all 
that  was  memorable  and  advantageous  to  that  worthy 
ex-Minister  ;  but  that  having  been  prevented  in  his  laudable 
intentions,  Liendon,  his  deputy,  had  anticipated  him  in  court 
and  had  succeeded  in  having  the  case  tried  before  his  arrival 
at  the  Tribunal,  so  that  he  had  not  been  able  to  carry  out 
his  good  intentions  towards  him." 

Then  Cambon  said  :  "I  have  in  my  hand  the  indictment 
presented  and  signed  by  you  against  Lomenie.  .  . 
You  have  just  uttered  a  pompous  and  merited  eulogy  of 
ex-Minister  Lomenie,  and  yet,  in  your  indictment,  you  make 
it  out  to  be  only  a  crime  for  him  that  he  captured  votes  in 
order  to  become  Mayor  of  his  Commune,  and  that  he  asked 
for  invitations  from  neighbouring  Communes.  WTiy,  then, 
do  you  shelter  yourself  to-day  under  his  merit  in  order 
to  excuse  a  conviction  that  your  eulogies  now  destroy  ? 
Did  your  heart  formerly  deny  what  your  mouth  utters 
to-day?  "2 

We  have  not  Fouquier's  answer. 

On  the  subject  of  "  the  red  shirts,"  he  answered  that  the 
sentence  which  condenmed  them  had  provided  that  they 
should  be  clad  in  that  garment  which  was  reserved  for 
assassins. 

Cambon  :  "  Here  is  the  minute  of  the  sentence  which 
states  that,  in  accordance  with  the  jury's  verdict,  the  sixty- 
nine  (sic)  3  were  not  convicted  of  an  individual  assassination 
but    of   having   conspired   to   assassinate    the    people    by 

■■  Condemned  to  be  deported. 

*  Buchez  and  Roux,  XXXIV.,  p.  441. 

'  In   reality   there   were   54. 


290  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

famine.     The  sentence  does  not  contain  this  provision  for 
red  shirts." 

Fouquier :  "I  claim  that  this  is  a  mistake  of  the 
registrar,  because  the  sentence  so  provided." 

Harny,  one  of  the  accused,  who  had  been  one  of  the 
judges  in  that  case,  said  :  "  The  Tribunal  did  not  so  provide. 
I  expressed  my  astonishment  at  it,  but  I  was  told  that  it  did 
not  concern  me."^ 

Regarding  the  charge  of  having  influenced  the  jurors  in 
the  case  of  Danton  and  the  Dantonists,  Fouquier  explained 
his  attitude  thus :  "The  jurors  were  getting  impatient  in  their 
room  because  the  hearing  did  not  begin.  We  went  up  there, 
I  think,  on  the  i6th,  to  inform  them  of  the  reply  of  the 
Committee  of  Public  Safety." 

It  was  pointed  out  to  Fouquier  and  to  Herman  that  they 
ought  to  have  had  the  reply  of  the  Committee  read  publicly 
in  court.  They  answered  that  that  reply  was  only  verbal, 
and  stated  that  the  Deputies  demanded  by  the  accused  should 
not  be  heard  as  witnesses.^  Fouquier  added  :  "  It  was  Voul- 
land  and  Amar  who  brought  the  decree.  ...  I  do  not 
remember  that  Danton  was  deprived  of  the  right  to  speak. 
I  made  no  summary  in  that  case." 

The  registrars  of  the  Tribunal,  Tavernier,  Paris,  Wolff, 
and  Neirot,  gave  evidence  that  went  severely  against  him. 
He  cried  out :  "I  have  learned  that  Fabricius  (Paris)  bears 
me  ill-will.  I  am  surprised  at  it.  I  did  all  I  could  to  get 
him  out  of  prison.  A  warrant  was  issued  by  the  Committee 
for  the  arrest  of  you,  Tavernier,  and  for  Wolff's  arrest.  I 
had  that  decision  revoked." 

Then  he  exclaimed  :  "  It  is  Danton' s  trial  that  has 
brought  us  here.  This  is  our  reward  for  saving  these 
fellows."     (Murmurs). 3 

Long  and  tiring  hearings  succeeded  one  another.  Some- 
times a  juror  would  fall  ill  and  be  replaced  by  one  of  the  four 
supplementary  jurors. '  The  jury  pointed  out  to  the  Tribunal 

1  Buchez  and  Roux,  XXXIV.,  p.  463. 
»  Buchez  and  Roux,  XXXIV.,  p.  477. 
»  Buchez  and  Roux,  XXXIV.,  p.  6. 


FOUQUIER'S    COURAGE  291 

*'  that  a  matter  of  this  importance  demands  attention  and, 
consequently,  rest."  Some  sessions  were  adjourned  to  the 
next  day  or  the  day  after. 

The  Convention  having  passed  a  decree  that  the  Revolu- 
tionary Tribunal  should  remain  in  permanence  until  the 
end  of  the  trial,  Ardenne,  the  Public  Prosecutor's  deputy, 
addressed  the  court  on  the  ist  of  Floreal  to  say  that  "  the 
painful  position  of  the  accused  during  the  hearings  neces- 
sarily demands  a  rest ;  justice,  moreover,  should  give  them 
time  to  think  over  their  defence.  It  will,  therefore,  be 
perfectly  in  the  spirit  of  the  law  if  we  devote  to  this  trial 
all  the  time  that  our  moral  and  physical  strength  allows 
lis." 

Fouquier,  on  the  19th  of  Germinal,  after  a  long  and  bitter 
discussion  with  the  witness,  Robert  Wolff,  became  indis- 
posed, and  the  proceedings  were  brought  to  an  end  for  that 
day.  However,  on  the  morrow,  he  recovered  all  his  energy 
to  argue  with  the  witness,  Paris. ^ 

Mercier,  in  his  Paris  pendant  la  Revolution,  has  given  us 
some  details  concerning  Fouquier's  attitude  during  the 
hearing.  "  He  was  like  Argus  in  the  fable,  all  eyes  and  ears. 
His  attention  did  not  appear  to  relax  for  a  moment  during 
this  long  case.  It  is  true  that  he  pretended  to  sleep  during 
the  Public  Prosecutor's  summing  up,  but  this  pretended  sleep 
was  only  to  mislead  spectators.  He  wanted  to  have  an 
appearance  of  calm  when  hell  was  already  in  his  heart.  His 
fixed  look  made  one  lower  one's  eyes  in  spite  of  oneself. 
When  he  prepared  to  speak,  he  frowned  with  his  eyebrows 
and  wrinkled  his  forehead.  His  voice  was  loud,  rough,  and 
threatening  ;  it  suddenly  passed  from  shrill  tones  to  deep, 
and  from  these  to  the  lowest  whisper.  He  Hstened  to  him- 
self speaking  when  he  asked  a  question.  No  one  could  put 
more  assurance  into  his  denials,  or  more  skill  in  the  distorting 
of  facts,  isolating  them,  and,  above  all,  marshalling  them  so 
as  to  prove  an  alibi.  When  a  judge  showed  him  a  blank 
sentence  signed  in  his  hand,  he  denied  his  signature  in  a  firm 
voice,  and  did  not  tremble  before  that  accusing  witness. 
^  Archives  Nationales,  W.  499,  dossier  550,  p.  6. 


292  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

When  the  proof  was  irresistible  he  filled  the  whole  court 
with  his  terrible  roars. "^ 

The  ushers  give  evidence  against  him  just  as  the  regis- 
trars did. 

Boucher  (an  ex-usher,  then  a  registrar's  clerk  in  the 
Tribunal)  said  :  "  Fouquier  complained  that  we  did  not 
work  fast  enough.  '  You  do  not  keep  up,'  he  used  to  say. 
'  I  want  two  hundred  to  two  hundred  and  fifty  each 
decade.'  "  ^ 

Tavernier,  also  an  ex-usher  and  then  a  registrar's  clerk, 
said  that  the  jurors  chosen  by  Fouquier  were  called  the  solid 
men. 

Fouquier  answered  that  when  jurors  were  wanted,  they 
were  taken  from  those  in  the  following  column  ;  that  he 
knew  neither  strong  jurors  nor  weak  jurors. ^ 

In  regard  to  the  trial  and  sentence  of  the  Marquise 
de  Feuquieres,  guillotined  without  witnesses  appearing 
against  her,  before  the  documents  arrived,  without  having 
signed  the  official  report  of  the  preliminary  examination, 
and  while  Chateau,  the  usher,  was  by  the  Public  Prosecutor's 
orders  at  Chaton  to  look  for  a  document  and  to  summon 
witnesses,  Fouquier  answered  Ardenne  :  "  If  from  the  pro- 
ceedings that  took  place,  and  if  from  the  confession  of  this 
woman,  the  jurors  came  to  a  decision,  there  is  no  crime." 

Ardenne  :  "  Did  you  mention  to  the  jurors,  during  the 
proceedings,  that  you  were  waiting  for  documents  and 
witnesses  concerning  the  woman  Feuquieres  ?  " 

Fouquier  :  "If  you  are  attacking  the  trials,  I  can  no 
longer  reply." 

Ardenne  :  "  We  are  not  revising  the  trials  here.  But 
I  point  out  that  you  ought  to  have  procured  and  presented 
the  documents  for  the  prosecution  and  the  defence,  and  pro- 
duced the  appointed  witnesses.  I  tell  you,  therefore,  that 
you  have  carried  out  your  duties  in  a  dishonest  manner  by 

1  Mercier  :  Paris  pendant  la  Revolution,  II.,  pp.  127,  128.      Quoted 
b}''  Campardon  :    Le  Tribunal  Revolutionnaire,  II.,  p.  209. 
^  Buchez  and  Roux,  XXXIV.,  p.  12. 
»  Buchez  and  Roux,  XXXIV.,  p.  15. 


ARDENNE'S    ARRAIGNMENT  293 

not  presenting  this  letter.  If  crime  ought  to  be  punished, 
we  ought  to  endeavour  to  discover  innocence  by  every 
possible  means.  I  tell  you  that  your  precipitation  is  a 
crime." 

Fouquier :  "  This  woman  was  arraigned  before  the 
Tribunal.  The  proceedings  opened.  She  confessed.  There 
were  no  further  proceedings.  You  are  here  trying  the  Tri- 
bunal as  if  a  Revolutionary  Tribunal  were  an  ordinary 
tribunal !     You  ought  to  refer  to  the  Revolutionary  laws." 

Ardenne  :  "No  matter  how  imperious  circumstances 
then  were,  and  no  matter  how  severe  these  laws,  you  ought 
not  to  had  added  cruelty  to  them.  You  ought  rather  to 
have  carried  your  head  to  the  scaffold."     (Loud  applause.) 

Fouquier :  "  You  are  holding  me  responsible  for  the 
sentences." 

Ardenne  :  "  No.  But  I  charge  you  with  having  trans- 
formed ordinary  deeds  into  counter-revolutionary  offences, 
and  with  having  been  at  least  one  of  the  principal  agents 
of  the  former  Committees  of  Government.  Besides,  you 
were  not  ignorant  of  the  decree  of  amnesty  passed  after 
these  events.  "1 

At  the  hearing  of  the  25th  of  Germinal,  nine  other  prisoners 
were  brought  in  and  associated  as  accomphces  wdth  those 
who  were  being  tried,  viz.  :  Boyaval,  Beausire,  Benoit, 
Valagnos,  Guyard,  and  Verney,  former  police  spies  and 
notorious  informers  ;  then  Lanne,  Herman's  assistant  on 
the  Commission  for  Civil  Affairs,  Police,  and  Tribunals  ; 
lastly,  Herman  himself,  and  Dupaumier,  a  former  pohce 
official.  They  passed  from  the  position  of  witnesses  to  that 
of  prisoners  on  trial,  and  this  owing  to  their  answers  and  the 
very  compromising  documents  that  had  been  brought  to- 
gether against  them.  The  part  they  played  in  the  business 
of  the  conspiracies  in  the  prisons  seems  to  have  been  mon- 
strous. As  for  Herman,  it  was  evident  that  he  was  "  pay- 
ing "  for  his  attitude  during  the  proceedings  at  Danton's 
trial.     During  the  sessions  that  were  to  follow,  these  new 

1  Buchez  and  Roux,  XXXV.,  p.  18,  and  Archives  Nationales,  W. 
499,  dossier  550,  p.  6,  folio  19. 


294  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

prisoners  were  on  trial,  and  fresh  light  was  thrown  on 
this  dark  affair.  Once  more  Danton's  trial  was  referred 
to,  and  Herman  affirmed  that  "  Danton  had  an  oppor- 
tunity to  speak  several  times." 

Didier-Thirion,  a  representative  of  the  people,  objected 
that  Danton  had  not  answered  the  third  charge  in  the 
indictment  against  him,  and  that  he  had  not  spoken  of  the 
Belgian  affair  before  he  was  deprived  of  the  right  to  speak. 

Herman  :  "I  knew  nothing  of  Belgium.  The  accused 
were  not  deprived  of  the  right  to  speak.  At  the  end  of  the 
period  appointed  by  law,  on  the  fourth  day,  I  asked  the  jurors 
if  they  were  sufficiently  informed  to  give  their  verdict. 
They  answered  in  the  affirmative." 

Paris  :  "  Danton  was  deprived  of  the  right  to  speak. 
Herman  and  Fouquier  went  into  the  jurors'  room  and  told 
the  jurors  to  say  that  they  were  sufficiently  informed." 

Fouquier  :  "  Paris  was  Danton's  friend  ;  it  is  Danton's 
death  they  want  to  avenge."  ^ 

There  was  a  certain  number  of  other  cases  about  which 
the  witnesses  gave  evidence,  and  this  evidence  was  over- 
whelmingly against  Fouquier.  These  were  the  Sallier  case 
(ist  of  Floreal  year  H.),  the  Freteau  case  (26th  of  Prairial 
year  II.),  the  Peres  case  {i8th  of  Messidor  year  II.),  the  Saint- 
Pern  case  (ist  of  Thermidor  year  II.),  the  Maille  case  (6th 
of  Thermidor  year  II.),  and  the  Puy  de  Verine  case  (9th  of 
Thermidor  year  II.). 

We  have  seen  in  an  earlier  part  of  this  work  how  Henry 
Guy  SalHer,  an  ex-noble  and  President  of  the  Cour  des  Aides 
of  Paris,  had  been  guillotined  in  a  "  batch  "  of  members  of 
the  Paris  Parlement  condemned  for  having  protested  against 
the  decrees  of  the  National  Assembly  in  1790.  It  was  his 
son,  Guy  Marie,  who  was  aimed  at.  There  had  been  a 
mistake  as  to  identity. 

Guy  Marie  Sallier  gave  evidence  at  the  trial  in  a  letter 
in  which  he  charged  Fouquier  with  having  committed  a  wrong 
act  in  arraigning  the  President  of  the  Cour  des  Aides  instead 
of  a  member  of  the  Parlement. 

.     1  Buchez  and  Roux,  XXXV.,  p.  130. 


THE    FRETEAU    CASE  295 

To  this  Fouquier  answered  that  they  were  making  him 
responsible  for  the  proceedings  ;  that  they  would  finish 
trying  him  all  the  sooner  ;  that  he  had  no  more  to  say — he 
was  ready. ^ 

Concerning  the  case  of  Freteau,  the  ex-councillor  of  the 
Parlement  of  Paris  who  was  acquitted  on  the  27th  of  Floreal 
in  the  year  II.,  but  whom  Fouquier  had  nevertheless  kept 
in  prison  and  again  brought  to  trial,  and  who  had  been 
condemned  to  death  on  the  22nd  of  Prairial  in  the  year  II., 
the  Tribunal  heard  the  evidence  of  Sezille,  an  official  de- 
fender, which  has  already  been  quoted.^  Fouquier  answered  : 
"  The  Freteau  case  does  not  concern  me  ;  on  the  second 
occasion  he  was  arraigned  for  another  offence  ;  I  do  not 
remember  having  refused  to  send  the  warrant  for  Freteau's 
release." 

But  a  witness,  Didier  Jourdeuil,  chief  registrar  of  the 
Tribunal  of  the  Third  Arrondissement,  formerly  a  juror 
of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal  until  the  23rd  of  Prairial, 
revealed  that  the  juror  Girard,  then  on  the  benches  of 
the  accused,  said  to  him  :  "  Do  you  not  know  that  Freteau 
has  an  income  of  sixty  thousand  livres  ?  ' ' 

Thierriet-Grandpre  said  that  one  morning  Fouquier  said 
to  him  in  a  heated  tone  :  "  Do  you  know  what  they  did 
yesterday  ?  They  acquitted  Freteau,  that  ex-councillor  of 
the  Parlement,  that  Deputy  of  the  Constituent  Assembly, 
that  known  counter-revolutionary.  But  I  swear  on  the 
word  of  a  Public  Prosecutor  that  that  scoundrel  will  be  taken 
again  in  a  few  days,  and  that  once  in  my  grip  he  shall  not 
escape  again  !  " 

Fouquier  denied  this  remark,  and  said  that  Fr6teau  had 
been  tried  for  another  offence.^ 

Regarding  the  case  of  Peres,  a  former  councillor  of  the 
Toulouse  Parlement,  who  was  guillotined  without  having  been 
included  either  in  the  questions  propounded  to  the  jury  or 
in  the  indictment,  and  on  the  authority  of  a  blank  sentence, 
Ardenne  remarked  to  Fouquier  that  in  this  matter  he  had 

»  Buchez  and  Roux,  XXXV.,  p.  loi.  »  Chapter  VIII.,  p.  189. 

2  Buchez  and  Roux,  XXXV.,  pp.  75  and  97. 


296  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

deceived  the  Convention  by  giving  it  false  information,  and 
he  ordered  the  proofs  of  Peres'  good  citizenship  to  be 
read. 

Fouquier  threw  all  responsibility  on  Liendon,  who  sat 
on  that  day. 

Ardenne  thereupon  replied  to  him,  pointing  out  that, 
in  the  papers  concerning  the  members  of  the  Toulouse 
Parlement,  there  was  no  document  for  the  prosecution, 
whilst  there  was  a  crowd  of  documents  for  the  defence 
which  he  had  not  presented. ^ 

In  the  matter  of  Saint-Pern,  the  son,  who  had  been  guillo- 
tined instead  of  his  father  on  the  ist  of  Thermidor,  Madame 
de  Saint-Pern,  Cornulier's  widow,  appeared  in  person  at 
the  session  of  the  ist  of  Floreal. 

"  On  the  ist  of  Thermidor  I  appeared  here  on  trial  along 
with  my  grandfather,  my  father,  mother,  brother,  husband, 
and  several  other  prisoners.  My  brother,  aged  seventeen, 
against  whom  there  was  no  indictment,  was  condemned  to 
death  instead  of  my  father,  aged  fifty-five,  who  regained  his 
freedom  after  the  9th  of  Thermidor.  Neither  my  husband 
nor  I  received  indictments.  My  husband  refused  to  go  into 
court  without  one.  We  were  brought  one  in  which  it  was 
said  that  we  had  assassinated  the  people  on  August  10." 

Ardenne  read  the  documents  relating  to  this  trial.  In  the 
indictment,  only  Saint-Pern  and  his  wife  were  mentioned. 
The  son  was  not  included  in  the  indictment  nor  in  the  list 
of  charges.  The  jury's  verdict  contained,  "J.  B.  Saint- 
Pern,  aged  seventeen,  unemployed,  born  at  Rennes."  "  The 
Tribunal  condemned  the  son  instead  of  the  father."  (Mur- 
murs of  horror.) 

Madame  de  Saint-Pern  then  addressed  Fouquier. 

"  Why  did  you  not  also  place  on  trial  those  who  were 
named  in  the  indictment,  Boucher,  Custine,  and  Thomas, 
for  instance  ?  " 

And  she  named  the  jurors  who  sat  in  that  case,  Renaudin, 
Chatelet,  and  Prieur.  "  I  remember  their  names  because 
when  my  husband  was  going  to  execution  he  handed  me 
1  Buchez  and  Roux,  XXXV.,  p.  141. 


KERTKANI)    liAKKRE 


JUDGES    MERELY    FIGURE    HEADS  297 

some  of  his  hair  in  a  paper  which  turned  out  to  be  the 
hst  of  the  jurors  for  that  day." 

Ardenne  :  "  The  judges  who  sat  on  the  ist  of  Thermidor 
are  Harny,  Lohier,  and  Dumas." 

Fouquier  :   "I  did  not  sit." 

Lohier :   "I  have  nothing  to  do  with  the  indictment." 

Harny  :  "  After  the  22nd  of  Prairial  the  judges  here 
were  merely  figure-heads."  ^ 

In  the  matter  of  young  de  MaiUe,  who  was  condemned  to 
death  as  a  conspirator  for  having  thrown  a  rotten  herring 
at  the  head  of  a  turnkey  in  Saint-Lazare,  his  mother, 
Madame  de  MaiUe  appeared,  and  was  asked  by  Ardenne  : 
*'  Can  you  prove  that  your  son  was  only  sixteen  years  old  ?  " 

The  witness  produced  a  copy  of  his  birth  certificate 
certifying  that  he  was  born  on  August  25,  1777.  And  he 
had  been  condemned  to  death  on  the  6th  of  Thermidor  in 
the  year  II. 

Fouquier  answered  :  "If  young  MaiUe  is  included  in  the 
indictment,  the  reason  is  that  he  was  impeached  by  a 
resolution  of  the  Committee  of  Public  Safety." 

Ardenne  :  "I  submit  to  Fouquier  that  no  resolution  of 
the  Committee  of  Public  Safety  is  to  be  found  among  the 
documents  relating  to  the  case,  and  that  there  is  no  date  on 
this  indictment." 

Fouquier  :  "  There  ought  to  be  a  list  on  which  is  written, 
'  To  be  sent  to  the  Public  Prosecutor.'  It  is  signed  by  three 
members  of  the  Committee." 

Ardenne  :    "  It  is  not  in  existence." 

Fouquier  :  "  Documents  have  been  taken  away.  That 
being  so,  I  have  nothing  more  to  say."  ^ 

Ardenne  read  the  article  in  the  indictment  which  con- 
cerned the  case  of  Loizerolles,  the  father,  who,  on  the 
eve  of  Robespierre's  fall,  was  guillotined  instead  of  his  son. 
We  have  already  discussed  this  case.^  Ardenne  added  that 
the  warrant  bore  the  words  "  the  girl  Loizerolles." 

1  Buchez  and  Roux,  XXXV.,  p.  92. 

'  Buchez  and  Roux,  XXXV.,  p.  57  and  following. 

'  See  Chapter  III.,  p.  99  and  note  p.  98. 


298  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

"  There  was  no  girl  Loizerolles  brought  to  trial,"  answered 
Fouquier.  "  It  was  the  son.  After  the  law  of  the  22nd  of 
Prairial,  no  preliminary  examinations  were  held.  Ushers 
or  other  persons  were  sent  to  the  prisons,  whose  duty  it 
was  to  take  the  prisoners'  names  and  bring  them  to  the 
Tribunal.  The  person  who  went  to  Lazare  took  the  father 
for  the  son.  My  deputy,  I  think  it  was  Liendon,  ought 
to  have  stopped  the  proceedings  against  the  father."  ^ 

When,  at  the  evening  hearing,  on  the  2nd  of  Floreal, 
a  witness^  charged  Fouquier  with  having  said  concerning  a 
paralysed  woman,  "  It  is  not  the  tongue,  it  is  the  head  we 
want,"  Fouquier  denied  the  fact.  But  Cambon  imme- 
diately said  :  "  Fouquier  has  just  told  you  that  he  had  never 
placed  paralysed  persons  on  trial.  I  am  going  to  show  that 
he  placed  on  trial  not  only  paralysed  persons,  but  also  a 
man  who  was  deaf,  blind,  and  in  his  second  childhood." 

He  then  spoke  of  M.  Durand  Puy  de  Verine  and  read  the 
certificates  relating  to  his  case. 

Fouquier  answered  :  "  Those  certificates  ought  to  have 
been  presented.  I  cannot  be  responsible  for  everything.  I 
do  not  know,  besides,  whether  I  was  sitting  on  that  day. 
They  were  not  charged  with  conspiracy.  They  were  im- 
peached by  the  Committee." 

And  (what  seems  to  contradict  his  statement  a  moment 
before  that  he  did  not  know  whether  he  was  sitting  on  that 
day)  he  added  :  "  Besides,  that  blind  man  did  not  seem  to 
be  in  his  second  childhood.    Moreover^  he  confessed  in  court." 

But  Cambon  had  the  official  report  of  the  case,  and  he 
read  the  names  of  the  members  who  composed  the  court  on 
that  day,  "  Dumas,  Maire,  FeHx,  judges.  Fouquier,  Public 
Prosecutor."  ^ 

Among  his  witnesses  for  the  defence,  Fouquier  had 
summoned  Carnot,  one  of  the  members  of  the  Committee  of 
Pubhc  Safety  whose  orders  he  has  executed ;   but  on  the  12th 

*  Buchez  and  Roux,  XXXIV.,  p.  439. 

*  Retz,  a  merchant,  formerly  steward  of  the  Hospice  de  I'EvSche. 
'  Buchez  and  Roux,  XXXV.,  p.  137,  and  see  the  official  report  in 

W.  433,  No'.  973. 


FOUQUIER    ADDRESSES    THE    COURT       299 

of  Floreal  (May  i),  at  the  morning  hearing,  the  President 
read  a  letter  from  Carnot,  apologising  for  not  being  able  to 
come,  and  enclosing  a  certificate  of  illness. 

Fouquier  then  declared  that  "  he  abandoned  his 
witnesses."  The  hearing  of  evidence  came  to  an  end  on 
that  day.^ 

At  five  o'clock  in  the  evening,  Cambon,  the  Public  Prose- 
cutor's deputy,  summed  up  for  the  prosecution.  Fouquier 
slept.  He  was  heard  in  his  general  defence  from  eight 
o'clock  until  ten  o'clock.  On  the  13th,  at  nine  o'clock  in 
the  morning,  he  continued  his  defence  until  half-past  eleven. 
Naulin,  Herman,  Leroy,  Lanne,  Chretien,  Scellier,  and 
Vilate  spoke  afterwards.  On  the  14th,  at  half -past  nine  in 
the  morning,  the  other  prisoners  were  heard.  In  the  evening 
Gamier-Launay,  Delaporte,  Trinchard,  and  Dupaumier 
defended  themselves.  Guyard  and  Vemey  entrusted  their 
defence  to  their  advocates. 

Fouquier-Tinville  addressed  the  court.  He  said  that  part 
of  his  defence  was  lacking.  This  was  the  evidence  of  Bil- 
laud-Varenne,  Collot  d'Herbois,  and  Barere,  who  had  been 
deported,  and  that  of  the  members  of  the  former  Committees 
of  Government  who  were  then  in  prison. 

"It  is  not  I  who  ought  to  be  arraigned  here,  but  the 
chiefs  whose  orders  I  have  executed.  I  have  acted  only  in 
virtue  of  the  laws  of  the  14th  of  Frimaire  and  of  the  23rd  of 
Ventose,  laws  passed  by  a  Convention  invested  with  full 
power.  Through  the  absence  of  those  members,  I  find  myself 
the  head  of  a  conspiracy  that  I  have  never  known.  Here  I 
am,  a  target  for  the  calumny  of  a  people  always  eager  to 
find  persons  guilty.  (Vehement  murmurs.)  Only  men  of 
ill-will  can  find  what  I  say  to  be  wrong." 

Afterwards  he  replied  to  several  facts  that  had  been 
alleged  against  him. 

On  the  morning  of  the  15th,  Gaillard  de  la  Ferriere, 
his  advocate,  spoke  on  his  behalf.  The  other  defenders 
addressed  the  court  on  behalf  of  their  clients.  In  the 
evening,  Cressend,  Gueneau,  and  Domanget  spoke. 

1  Archives  Nationales,  W.  499,  No.  550,  pidce  7,  p:  47. 


300  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

On  the  i6th,  at  nine  o'clock  in  the  morning,  Domanget 
continued  his  speech  until  eleven  o'clock.  Leroy,  Fouquier, 
Ganney,  and  Valagnos  made  some  observations,  and 
Fouquier  again  addressed  the  court,  and  presented  to  the 
jury  some  facts  in  his  defence. 

The  pleadings  closed  at  eleven  o'clock.  The  Tribunal 
declared  that  the  jury  should  not  disperse  until  the  verdict 
were  given.  The  President  summed  up  at  the  evening  ses- 
sion. The  questions  were  propounded.  The  jurors  retired 
to  their  room  to  consider  their  verdict  at  nine  o'clock  in  the 
evening,  and  at  noon  on  the  17th  they  came  back  to  declare 
their  verdict.  This  declaration  lasted  until  three  o'clock. 
The  Tribunal  retired  to  the  Council  Chamber  to  consider 
it.  It  came  back  at  five  o'clock.  The  accused  were  brought 
into  court.     Judgment  was  pronounced.^ 

Fouquier-Tinville  was  convicted  of  machinations  and  plots 
tending  to  favour  the  liberticidal  plots  of  the  enemies  of  the 
people  and  the  Republic,  with  provoking  the  dissolution 
of  the  national  representation  and  the  overthrow  of  Republi- 
can government,  with  exciting  citizens  to  arm  against 
one  another,  particularly  by  causing  the  deaths,  through 
the  disguised  form  of  a  trial,  of  an  innumerable  crowd  of 
French  people  of  all  ages  and  both  sexes  ;  of  inventing,  for 
this  purpose,  conspiracies  in  various  houses  of  detention 
in  Paris  ;  of  making  out  and  causing  to  be  made  out,  in 
those  various  houses  of  detention,  lists  of  proscribed  persons, 
etc. ;  of  having  acted  with  evil  intentions.  He  was  unani- 
mously condemned  to  death  by  the  votes  of  all  the  eleven 
jurors.  2 

Foucault,  Scellier,  Garnier-Launay,  Leroy,  called  "  Tenth 
of  August,"  Renaudin,  Vilate,  Prieur,  Chatelet,  Girard, 
Boyaval,  Benoit,  Lanne,  Vernier,  Dupaumier,  and  Herman 
were  convicted  of  having  been  accomplices  in  Fouquier's 
machinations  and  plots,  and  of  having  acted  with  evil 
intentions.     They  were  condemned  to  death. 

Maire,  Harny,  Deliege,  Naulin,  Delaporte,  Lohier,  Trin- 

*  Archives  Nationales,  W.  499,  dossier  550,  piece  7,  p.  57. 
2  Archives  Nationales,  W.  499,  dossier  550,  p.  13. 


THE    CONDEMNED  301 

chard,  Brochet,  Chretien,  Ganney,  Trey,  Guyard,  and 
Valagnos  were  not  convicted  of  being  principals,  but  of 
being  accomphces  in  those  machinations  and  plots.  They 
had  not  acted  with  evil  intentions.  They  were  acquitted. 
Duplay  and  Beausire  were  also  acquit  ted.  * 

It  was  six  o'clock  in  the  evening.  The  Courrier  Repuhli- 
cain  tells  us  that  when  the  verdict  was  announced  Fouquier 
appeared  to  be  "  furious."  Scellier  hurled  a  pamphlet 
which  he  held  in  his  hand  at  the  President's  head.  Herman 
took  off  his  hat  "  in  a  moment  of  rage  "  and  flung  it  out  of 
the  window.  Most  of  the  condemned  persons  called  the 
judges  and  jurors  scoundrels,  and  predicted  for  them  a 
death  similar  to  that  which  they  were  going  to  experience. 
"  Yet  forty  days,"  they  exclaimed,  "  and  Nineveh  shall  be 
destroyed  !  "^ 

As  for  the  crowd  that  filled  the  court,  it  seemed  to  have 
been  moved  by  various  feelings.  Some  police  inspectors 
wrote  in  their  report  of  the  day  :  "  Yesterday  (i6th  of 
Floreal  in  the  year  HI.,  May  5,  1795),  Fouquier-Tinville's 
case  was  talked  about  in  several  cafes.  Opinions  on  this 
matter  were  very  much  divided.  Some  citizens  held  that 
this  scoundrel  and  his  accomplices  were  to  be  sentenced 
to  death.  Others  maintained  that  the  Convention  had 
provided  otherwise,  that  it  had  given  orders  that  they 
should  only  be  condemned  to  deportation,  that  this  measure 
was  of  importance  in  order  not  to  expose  Fouquier  to  the 
pubHc  gaze,  for  he  would  not  fail  to  disclose  many  horrors 
that  it  was  the  Government's  interest  to  keep  secret."^ 

The  condemned  persons  asked  to  be  executed  that  same 
evening.  But  it  was  late.  Twihght  was  coming  on,  and  the 
executioner  was  not  to  be  found.  The  execution  had  to 
be  postponed  until  the  following  morning. 

Fouquier-Tinville  then  wrote  these  few  words  which 
have  been  preserved  for  us  : 

1  Archives  Nationales,  W.  499,  dossier  550,  p.  15. 

*  Courrier  RSpublicain  for  the  9th  of  Floreal,  quoted  by  Aulard  : 
Paris  sous  la  Reaction  Thermidorienne,  I.,  p.  707. 

*  Ibid.,  p.  701. 


302  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

"  I  have  nothing  to  reproach  myself  with  :  I  have  ahvays 
conformed  to  the  laws  ;  I  have  never  been  the  creature 
of  Robespierre  or  Saint- Just ;  on  the  contrary,  I  have 
been  four  times  on  the  point  of  being  arrested.  I  die  for 
my  country  and  without  reproach  :  I  am  satisfied  ;  my 
innocence  will  be  recognised  later. 

"  A.  O.  FOUQUIER."! 

On  the  i8th  of  Floreal  (May  7,  1795),  early  in  the  morn- 
ing, the  quays  and  streets  adjoining  the  House  of  Justice 
and  the  Place  de  Greve  were  black  with  people.  The  immense 
crowd  was  waiting  for  the  arrival  of  the  carts.  Before  the 
Hotel  de  Ville,  the  scaffold  reared  itseK  up  in  the  dazzling 
light  of  day.  "  The  spirit  which  seemed  to  animate  this 
multitude  was  not  that  ferocious  joy  which  joy  {sic)  inspired 
in  the  cannibals  who  were  the  daily  spectators  of  the  Revolu- 
tionary butcheries  ;  the  curiosity  which  leads  us  to  go  and  see 
extraordinary  monsters  seemed  to  be  the  only  feeling  that 
reigned  in  this  crowd  of  individuals  of  every  position, 
and  age,  and  of  both  sexes. "^ 

Among  the  groups  only  one  voice  was  heard  :  "  He  has 
deserved  it.  He  was  given  plenty  of  time  and  every  means 
of  defending  himself."  And  many  people  told  how  "  the 
monster  "  had  deprived  them  of  a  friend,  a  father,  or  a 
relative.  Some  congratulated  themselves  on  having  escaped 
his  carts  by  a  miracle.     He  was  called  "  a  man-eater." 

The  windows  were  filled  with  curious  persons  of  both 
sexes,  "  on  whose  faces  one  read  that  satisfaction  which 
the  destruction  of  crime  procures  to  virtue."^ 

Suddenly,  in  the  midst  of  the  crowd,  above  their  heads, 
the  three  carts  were  seen  advancing.  Fouquier-Tinville 
was  in  the  last.  A  torrent  of  invectives  and  insults  poured 
upon  him.  Desperate  voices  cried  out  to  him  :  "  Give  me 
back  my  father,  give  me  back  my  family,  give  me  back  my 
brother,  give  me  back  my  friend,  my  wife,  my  sister,  my 

1  Archives  Nationales,  W.  499,  dossier  550,  p.  41. 
*  Messagev  du  Soir  for  the  19th  of  Floreal,  quoted  by  Aulard  : 
Paris  sous  la  Reaction  Thermidorienne,  p.  707. 
3  Mess  agar  du  Soir  for  the  19th  of  Floreal. 


THE    EXECUTION  303 

husband,  my  mother,  my  children  !  "  Others  jeered  :  "  They 
are  going  to  deprive  you  of  the  right  to  speak  !  "  "In 
two  minutes  the  pleadings  come  to  an  end  !  "  "Is  your 
conscience  sufficiently  enhghtened  ?  "  "  The  people  are 
going  to  fire  an  uninterrupted  volley  in  its  turn  !  "  "  Go, 
scoundrel,  and  join  your  victims  !  "^ 

Shrill  cries  and  cheers  of  triumph  were  raised.  The 
multitude  rocked  in  continuous  movement.  Fouquier  was 
pale  and  livid,  all  the  muscles  of  his  face  contracted,  his  eyes 
"  bloodshot."  Doubtless  he  had  wept  as  he  thought  of  his 
wife,  of  his  sons,  of  his  children,  of  the  beings  whom  he  was 
leaving  in  the  most  frightful  destitution.  Some  thought 
they  saw  him  smile  and  sneer.  A  journalist  heard  him 
answer  the  groans  with  these  words  :  "  Vile  riff-raff,  go 
and  look  for  bread  !  "  The  people  cried  out,  "  Long  live 
justice  !  " 

The  three  carts  stopped  before  the  scaffold.  The  con- 
demned men  alighted  from  them.  One  after  another,  they 
were  balanced  beneath  the  bloody  triangle  of  the  guillotine. 
Fouquier-Tinville  was  executed  last.  The  people  howled 
and  asked  his  head  to  be  shown  to  them.  "  The  executioner 
seized  it  and  displayed  it  to  the  eager  gaze  of  the  public."^ 

It  was  eleven  o'clock  in  the  morning.  The  crowd  with- 
drew slowly.  It  flowed  over  the  Place,  along  the  quays, 
through  the  streets,  over  the  bridges,  commenting  on  the 
events,  quiet  or  noisy,  satisfied  with  the  execution,  and 
pleased  with  the  fine  day  beneath  the  Floreal  sun. 

But,  not  far  off,  in  a  modest  lodging  in  the  Rue  de  la  Harpe, 
a  widow  was  weeping.  A  life  of  opprobrium,  of  terrible 
poverty,  of  absolute,  irremediable  isolation,  was  beginning 
for  her.     She  was  Madame  Fouquier-Tinville. 

^  Messager  du  Soir  for  the  19th  of  Floreal. 
=*  Courrier  Republicain  for  the  19th  of  Floreal. 


CHAPTER    XIV 

CONCLUSION 

"    T  WAS  the  agent  of  the  Committees  of  Government. 

I       What  would  you  have  done  in  my  place  ?  "     Fou- 

I       quier-Tinville   said  and  repeated  in  his   defence 

before  the  judges.     And  that,  upon  the  whole,  is 

his  only  defence. 

It  is  a  hundred  and  eighteen  years  since  the  ex-Public 
Prosecutor  of  the  Terror  asked  that  question.  Can  we 
answer  it  to-day  in  a  clear,  straightforward,  and  precise 
manner  ? 

In  order  to  judge  Fouquier-Tinville  let  us  go  back  to  the 
time  when  he  held  his  terrible  magistracy,  to  that  epoch 
when,  in  Revolutionary  France,  pubhc  order  was  so  pro- 
foundly troubled,  when  the  judicial  body  was  a  body  of 
servile  officials,  ready  to  obey  in  any  way  the  ephemeral 
chiefs  of  an  unstable  Government  pledged  to  the  changing 
humours  of  the  multitude  and  the  infuriated  struggles  of 
parties. 

Fouquier-Tinville  was  amazed  that  he  was  sacrificed  by 
the  Thermidorians,  after  the  fall  of  Robespierre,  Couthon,  and 
Saint-Just,  after  the  exile  of  Billaud-Varenne,  CoUot  d'Her- 
bois,  and  Barere.  He  advocated  in  court  the  sending  to  the 
scaffold  of  the  victims  of  the  gth  of  Thermidor.  And  on  the 
14th  of  Thermidor  he  was  preparing  to  be  Pubhc  Prosecutor 
"  under  the  Thermidorian  faction,"  If  he  had  lived  and 
kept  his  place,  he  would  have  been  a  diligent  Pubhc  Prose- 
cutor under  the  Directory  and  he  would  wiUingly  have  made 
an  Imperial  Procurator  under  Napoleon. 

For  his  defence,  he  claimed  that  he  only  executed  the 
orders  of  the  Committees  of  Government.  It  is  true  that  he 
executed  their  orders.     But  he  did  more  than  execute  them. 

304 


AN    APPEx\L    TO    POSTERITY  305 

He  outstripped  them.  In  Wolff's  words  at  the  trial,  Fou- 
quier  transformed  into  a  slaughter-house  a  Tribunal  which, 
from  the  very  severity  of  its  functions,  ought  to  have  been 
the  more  scrupulously  subject  to  forms.  He  alone  did  not 
transform  that  Tribunal  into  a  slaughter-house.  But,  aided 
by  President  Dumas,  Vice-President  Cofifinhal,  and  others, 
he  contributed  to  that  transformation. 

He  defended  himself  against  the  charge  of  having  insti- 
gated the  deprivation  of  Danton  and  the  Dantonists  of  the 
right  to  plead.  He  said  that  he  had  nothing  to  do  with  the 
idea  of  a  conspiracy  intended  to  empty  the  prisons  and 
depopulate  France.  He  affirmed  that  he  had  never  known 
the  pohce  spies,  the  compilers  of  lists  of  proscribed  persons. 
He  said  that  he  had  always  been  faithful  to  his  duties.  He 
had  shown  himself  humane,  "  especially  towards  the  unfor- 
tunate." The  conspiracies  in  the  prisons  ?  He  would 
not  have  even  thought  of  such  a  thing  but  for  the  law  of  the 
23rd  of  Ventose  and  the  Committee  of  Pubhc  Safety  "  which 
imposed  on  him  the  rigorous  duty  of  prosecuting  and  bringing 
to  trial  all  individuals  suspected  of  such  offences."  The 
mistakes  in  drawing  up  the  indictments  ?  They  were  due 
to  the  negligence  of  his  deputies  or  to  errors  committed  by 
secretaries  in  the  prosecutor's  office.  He  had  no  knowledge 
that,  by  his  act,  one  person  was  ever  sent  to  death  instead  of 
another.  He  only  carried  out  orders,  for,  he  said  loudly, 
"  when  the  law  speaks,  the  public  official  must  act."  And 
he  laid  informations  against  Robespierre,  Couthon,  and 
President  Dumas. 

He  himself,  on  the  other  hand,  had  resisted,  in  certain 
cases,  the  wishes  of  members  of  the  Committee  of  Public 
Safety  and  of  the  Committee  of  General  Security  (this  was 
not  the  case,  however,  when  Vadier  made  him  bring  the 
Darmaings  and  de  Pamiers  to  trial),  and  he  had  perpetually, 
courageously,  but  vainly  "  demanded  the  revision  of  the 
terrible  law  of  the  22nd  of  Prairial."  He  appealed  to  a 
posterity  which  would  avenge  "  the  insults  he  was  made  to 
experience  "  in  the  course  of  the  proceedings  at  his  trial. 

Certainly  these  denials  are  very  clear.     No  prisoner  had 


306  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

more  assurance,  defended  himself  more  skilfully,  knew  better 
how  to  deny  the  evidence  of  facts,  to  distort  them,  to  present 
them  in  a  special  and  favourable  light,  to  isolate  and  destroy 
them,  to  say  that  he  did  not  sit  on  a  given  day,  to  throw  all 
responsibility  on  others.  None  was  more  stubborn,  more 
imperturbable,  less  disconcerted.  His  defence  was  specious. 
But  the  documents  remain  among  the  papers  relating  to  the 
Revolutionary  Tribunal,  and  they  bear  his  signature.  There 
are  indictments  with  erasures,  filled  with  commitments, 
unauthorised  insertions  between  the  lines,  blank  spaces. 
There  are  pleadings  for  the  prosecution  against  accused 
persons,  with  no  evidence  to  support  them.  There  are  wit- 
nesses for  the  prosecution  summoned  by  him  who  were 
nothing  more  than  pohce  spies  from  the  prisons  or  compilers 
of  hsts. 

He  said  that  he  had  never  brought  to  trial  any  persons 
except  conspirators,  and  that  he  had  had  orders.  But  what 
of  the  paralysed  Durand  Puy  de  Verine  and  his  wife  ?  What 
of  Toupin,  the  Breton,  who  could  not  speak  French  ?  What 
of  Madame  de  Lavergne  ?  Were  they  conspirators  ?  He 
did  not  know  that  an^^  person  had  ever  been  sent  to  death  for 
another.  What  of  M.  de  Saint  Pern  ?  What  of  Madame  de 
Maille?     What   of  Peres?     What   of  Maurin  ? 

He  exonerated  himself  from  the  charges  that  weighed  on 
him  by  throwing  all  responsibility  on  the  members  of  the 
Committee  of  Public  Safety,  on  his  colleagues,  on  his 
subordinates.  But  Robespierre,  Couthon,  and  Saint-Just 
perished  on  the  scaffold.  He  made  himself  out  to  be  innocent 
by  accusing  President  Dumas.  But  Dumas  perished  on 
the  scaffold.  It  is  easy  to  incriminate  dead  men.  They 
cannot  reply.  And  there  were  convenient  witnesses  whom 
he  should  not  have  feared  to  face.  Why  did  he  not  think  of 
incriminating  Billaud-Varenne  and  Collot  d'Herbois  until 
they  had  gone  into  exile  and  been  deported  to  Sinnamarie. 

And  all  the  neghgence,  all  the  errors,  all  the  omissions  that 
were  pointed  out  in  the  indictments,  how  er.-.y  it  was  for  him 
to  attribute  them  to  Liendon,  his  deputy ,  who  had  fled  the 
country,  and  who,  consequently,  could  not  contradict  him  ! 


THE    LAWS   OF    HUMANITY  307 

He  invoked  the  laws.  But  above  the  Revolutionary  laws, 
are  there  not  superior  and  imperishable  laws  which  enjoin 
pity,  humanity  and  courage  ?  If,  on  the  22nd  of  Prairial, 
when  he  recognised  that  the  task  imposed  on  the  Revolu- 
tionary Tribunal  became  henceforth  abominable,  he  had 
firmly  given  in  his  resignation,  he  would  undoubtedly  have 
been  immediately  brought  to  trial  and  sacrificed.  But  pos- 
terity would  not  have  to  dishonour  his  memory,  as  it  has 
hitherto  done,  and  that  without  Siny  party  distinction. 

It  is  a  rare  thing  in  studying  the  men  of  the  Revolution 
for  us  not  to  find  ourselves  faced  by  most  interesting  moral 
cases,  and  it  often  becomes  almost  impossible  to  explain 
them  in  the  final  analysis. 

Fouquier-Tinville,  thorough  instrument  of  the  Terror 
though  he  was,  was  accessible  to  feelings  of  humanity  and 

pity- 
He  caused  the  acquittal  of  Garce,  a  captain  in  the  Guyenne 
regiment ;  Bayard  de  la  Vingtrie,  lieutenant  of  the  baihwick 
of  Bellesme;  Depuis,  an  employee  in  the  military  trans- 
ports; and  Mouchet,  the  King's  architect.  He  wished  to 
save  Angram  d'Alleray,  a  former  civil  heutenant  of  the 
Chatelet,  who  had  rendered  him  services  as  Procurator  at  the 
Chatelet.     He  told  him  to  deny  everything. ^ 

He  signed  a  letter  in  which  he  declared  that,  in  spite  of 
the  decree  of  the  Convention,  General  Harville  was  not 
guilty,  "  and  that  it  was  impossible  for  him  to  find  grounds 
for  an  indictment."  Montane,  the  ex-President  of  the 
Revolutionary  Tribunal,  owed  him  his  life.  And  yet  they 
did  not  care  for  one  another,  and  had  had  violent  arguments. 
Many  prisoners  who  were  languishing  in  prison  wrote  to  him 
asking  for  a  prompt  trial ;  he  systematically  ignored  them 
in  their  prisons.  Systematically — and  humanely — he  laid 
on  one  side  the  papers  concerning  them,  thus  taking  into 
consideration  the  remark  of  his  friend  Lavaud,  the  advocate, 
Volenti  mori  non  creditiu.  (For  he  loved  Latin  quotations, 
having  been  an  excellent  student,  and  he  sometimes  allowed 

1  But  Angram  d'Alleray  did  not  pay  attention  to  these  overtures, 
and  allowed  him.self  to  be  condemned  to  death  by  the  Tribunal. 


3o8  THE  PUBLIC  PROSECUTOR  OF  THE  TERROR 

himself  to  be  disarmed  by  them.)  Lastly,  he  saved  the 
ninety-four  men  of  Nantes. 

How  then  are  we  to  explain  him  ?  What  was  there 
behind  that  high,  firm  forehead  on  which  the  raised  arch  of 
the  eyebrows  marked  a  note  of  interrogation  ?  What  was 
the  real  thought  that  lived  in  those  restless,  attentive  eyes, 
in  that  dark  and  oblique  glance,  so  fixed  that  others  could 
not  hold  out  against  it  ? 

We  have  freely  sought,  without  prejudice  or  hatred, 
to  understand  him  and  to  make  him  understood.  And  this, 
in  the  final  analysis,  is  what  we  think  of  him. 

There  was  a  conflict  in  his  nature.  There  was  a  rupture 
between  what  pertained  to  his  middle-class,  human  character 
and  what  pertained  to  the  official,  to  the  magistrate,  to  the 
agent  of  the  Committees  of  Public  Safety  and  of  General 
Security,  to  the  priest  of  Revolutionary  justice.  Between 
the  magistrate  and  the  private  man,  there  had  been,  in  his 
inmost  being,  terrible  conflicts.  We  have  proof  of  this  in 
his  letters  to  his  wife.  He  was  good  to  his  wife  and  children. 
He  loved  them  tenderly. 

But  let  us  endeavour  to  see  into  him  more  clearly  still, 
to  peer  clearly  into  his  very  depths.  Fouquier  was  an 
arbitrary,  violent  man,  ill  at  ease  within  the  narrow  limits 
of  a  tribunal.  He  was  impatient  of  his  colleagues  and  his 
official  equals,  especially  Dumas.  He  had  a  despotic  char- 
acter. And  he  had  the  education,  all  the  education  and 
habits  of  a  lawyer,  of  a  procurator,  of  a  man  brought  up  and 
trained  in  legal  chicanery  and  procedure. 

He  wanted  to  win  his  cases  at  whatever  cost.  He  confused 
his  part  as  Public  Prosecutor  with  his  old  quibbling  habits. 
He  wanted  to  win  his  cases,  and  he  won  them  all  with  a  high 
hand  during  the  Terror  and  until  the  9th  of  Thermidor. 
But  he  lost  one  case,  his  own,  and  that  in  spite  of  a  vehement 
defence,  full  of  talent,  in  which  he  confronted  an  entire 
Government.  Public  vengeance  was  waiting  for  him.  He 
was  hooted  at.  Too  much  blood  had  been  shed.  Paris 
had  had  enough  of  seeing  so  much  blood  flowing  every  day. 

And  now  must  we  accept  the  objection  made  by  Fouquier 


TERRIBLE    PROOFS  309 

during  his  trial  that  Paris,  the  registrar,  and  Wolff,  his  mortal 
enemies,  had  had  the  documents  for  that  trial  in  their  hands, 
and  could  and  did  remove  some  of  those  that  told  for  his 
defence  ?  Must  we  conclude  from  this  that  perhaps 
Fouquier  was  not  guilty,  that  the  evidence  for  the  prosecution 
alone  remains  against  him,  and  that,  in  this  position  of  the 
question,  all  definite  judgment  ought  to  be  suspended  ? 

But,  as  we  have  said  above,  the  most  terrible  of  the 
proofs  that  exist  against  the  ex-Public  Prosecutor  are  his 
own  indictments.  They  are  to  be  found  among  the  National 
Archives.  Anyone  can  consult  them  and  verify  the  frightful 
precipitation  with  which  "  batches  "  of  unhappy  persons 
were  sent  to  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal,  and  thence  we 
know  to  what  end — women  dragged  from  their  husbands, 
girls  from  their  mothers,  old  men  sent  to  death.  Nothing 
is  so  moving  and  so  cruel  as  the  reading  of  those  innumerable 
indictments,  even  for  the  student  whose  profession  has 
accustomed  him  to  impassiveness. 

As  regards  the  charges  brought  against  Fouquier  of  having 
been  bribed  in  his  duties  by  more  or  less  considerable  sums, 
we  think  they  cannot  be  maintained.  No  proof  of  such 
corruption  exists  against  him,  and  he  died  very  poor,  leaving 
his  wife  and  children  in  the  most  appalling  want. 

To  conclude,  it  seems  to  us  just  and  opportune  to  borrow 
a  quotation  from  Ardenne,  the  Public  Prosecutor's  deputy, 
one  of  the  judges  belonging  to  the  Thermidorian  party 
it  is  true,  but  a  man  who  used  language  as  honest  as  it  is 
resolute. 

"  No  matter  how  imperious  the  Revolutionary  laws  were, 
you  ought  not  to  have  added  to  their  cruelty.  You  ought 
rather  to  have  carried  your  head  to  the  scaffold.  I  do 
not  hold  you  responsible  for  the  sentences,  but  I  charge  you 
with  having  transformed  ordinary  deeds  into  counter- 
revolutionary offences." 

This  seems  to  us  to  be  the  only  answer  to  Fouquier's 
question  which  we  placed  at  the  beginning  of  this  conclusion. 


INDEX 


Admiral,  Hexry,  68-75.  80,  81, 
170,  174.  182 

Adnet,  Captain  Louis  Claude,  113, 
115,  128,  242,  243 

Advenier,  Jean,  240 

Agier,  Judge,  217,  275 

Agier's  speech  at  tlie  Revolutionary- 
Tribune,  217 

AUain,  96 

AUeray,  Denis  Fran9ois  Angram  d', 
62,  307  and  note 

Amans,  235 

Amar,  Andre,  xv.,  51,  54,  56,  146, 
150,  151,  176,  181,  223,  225,  234, 
237,240,253,254,290 

Amboise,  Crussol  d',  loi 

Andre,  Thomas,  76 

Arbeltier,  95 

Ardenne,  deputy  Public  Prosecu- 
tor, 282,  291,  309 

Armance,  231 

Armand,  Jean  Antoine,  176  and 
note 

Attack  on  Collot  d'  Herbois,  68-75 

Aubagne,  Judge  Bertrand  d',  275, 
283 

Aubigny,  Jean  Louis  Marie  Villain 
d',  163,  244,  261,  262 

Aubry,  249,  270,  271,  273,  282  note 

Aucourt,  Henriette  Gerard  d',  32, 
125,  126,  139,  156-163,  igr,  192, 
303.  308,  309 

Audouin,  163 

Aumont's  speech  at  the  Revolution- 
ary Tribune,  216 

Auvray,  Jean  Baptiste  Benoit,  166, 
246 

Banville,  Citizeness,  187 

Barbier,  Judge,  274,  282  note 

Bar^re,  73,  123,  150,  299,  304 

Barnave,  xii 

Barraly,  Andre,  271,  272 

Barras,  118,  178 

Barry,  Madame  du,  xvi,  41,  267, 

278 
Barthelemy,  147 


"  Batches "    of   prisoners,    58   and 

note,  59 
Batz,  de,  attempted  to  save  Louis 

XVI.,  72 
Bayle,  Moyse,  xvi,   151 
Baynard  de  la  Vingtrie,  Lieutenant, 

307 
Beausire,    Jean   Baptiste,   spy,   83, 
92,  231,  235,  240  and  note,  265, 

293'  301 
Bellesme,  307 
Benoit,  spy,  83,  87  and  note,  88,  92- 

94  and  note,  209,  231,  265,  286, 

287,  293,  300 
Bernard,  Jacques  Claude,  121,  149 
Bernard,  Lieutenant,  128,  129 
Berthaut,   Antoine  Marie,   78  and 

note,  258,  259 
Bertrand,  Charles  Gombert,  228 
Beudon.  268 
BicStre  prison,   conspiracy  in   the, 

82-85,  187,  229,  239,  287,  288 
Billaud-Varenne,    50,    57,    59,    86, 

149-151,  289,  299,  304.  306 
Biron,   the    two    women   de,    167, 

171  and  note 
Birth  of  Fouquier-Tinville,  the,  30 
Bligny,  Pierre  Marie,  32,  232,  233 
Bohemia,  The  King  of,  41 
Boisgelin,  Madame  de,  86 
Boispereuse,  231 
Botot-Dumesnil,     Jacques     Marie. 

115,  116,  227,  241 
Boucher,  Auguste-Joseph,  166,  167, 

171,  292,  296 
Bougon,  Charles  Jacques,  122 
Bourdon,    Leonard,    44,    118,    181, 

241,  260,  262  and  note,  263 
Bourdon  (of  the  Oise),  173,  215 
Bourgeois,  95 

Bourgueil   Committee,   223 
Bourree-Corberon,  59 
Boutroue,  Advocate,  283 
Boyaval,  Pierre  Joseph,  spy,  83,  87 

and  note,  88,  92,  93,  230-232,  235, 

265,  286,  293,  300 
Boyer-Brun,  74 


311 


312 


INDEX 


Bravet,  Judge,  120.  273,  282  note 
Br^ard,     Jean- Jacques,     148     and 

note 
Brienne,    Comte   I^menie   de    {see 

Lomenie  de  Brienne) 
Brillon-Busse,  Perronnet,  106 
Brissot,  59 
Brival,  53 
Brocket,   60,    160,    249,    266,    267, 

273,  282  note,  300 
Brothers  of  Fouquier-Tinville,  the, 

Brunet,  prison  surgeon,  85,  264 

Budelot,  118,  134 

Buttin,  a  juror  reported  as  being  in 

two  courts  at  the  same  time,  104 

and  note 

Callon,  53 

Cambon,  deputy  Public  Prosecutor, 
XV.  note,  64,  77,  80,  150,  256, 
275,  280,  282,  284,  285,  299 

Cambon's  opening  address  at  Fou- 
quier-Tinville's  trial,  284,  285 

Camille  Desmoulins,  33,  34  note, 
50,  57,  249,  250,  252,  253 

Camille  Desmoulins,  by  Edouard 
Fleury,  33 

Campardon,  xvii,  30,  33 

Canaple,  Jean  Fran9ois  Esprit, 
188 

Conciergerie  prison,  Fouquier- 
Tinville  in  the,  212 

Canisy,  Anne  Marie  Charlotte  de 
Lomenie,  288  and  note 

Carmelite  prison,  conspiracy  in  the, 
83,  94.  95.  208,  258,  264,  265 

Fouquier-Tinville  in  the,  129- 

135.  139-149 
Camot,  149,  298 
Carra,  59 
Carrier,  xviii.,   152,   153,   162,   212 

and  twte,  215 
Castellanes,  the,  167 
Cauchois,    124,    126-128 
Cazes,  Vadier's  grudge  against,  79 
Cazotte,  Elisabeth,  34 
Cazotte,  Nicolas,  34 
Chabot,  50,  67,  251 
Champagnier,  95 
Champlatreux,  Mole  de,  59 
Chandelier,  124-126 
Character  of  Fouquier-Tinville,  the, 

xii.,  33,  166,  167,  186,  189,  202, 

246,  247,  308 
Charry,       Charlotte      de      Luppe, 

Countesse  de,  178  note 


Chateau,  Urbain  Didier,  78,  91,  117, 
164,  179,  180,  236,  249,  260,  273, 
282  note,  296,  300 

Chaumette,  47,  57,  58,  173 

Chaumette,  Madame,  57 

Chauveau-Lagarde,  64 

Chaux,  153 

Chavard,  264 

Chenier,  Andre,  poet,  xiii,  98 

Chevagne,  prisoners  from,  107-109 

Children  in  the  Conciergerie  prison, 
258 

Children  of  Fouquier-Tinville,  the, 
32,  33,  308,  309 

Chimay,  Princesse  de,  100,  loi 

Chimney-sweep  indicted  as  ex- 
nobles,  106 

Chretien,  230,  246,  267-270,  273,  282 
note,  299,  301 

CI6re,  Catherine,  42,  43 

Clermont-Tounerre,  Comte  de,  100, 

lOI 

Cloots,  51 

Cochefer,  Christophe,   122 

Coffinhal,  Judge,  xii,  xiii,  xiv,  30, 

44.  75'  77'  97-10O'  107.  112 
and  note  113,  114,  117,  154,  168, 
188,  198,  199  and  note,  200,  231, 
234'  235,  240,  242,  243,  243 

Collot  d'Herbois,  68-75,  86,  131, 
149,  150,  200,  267,  289,  299,  304, 
306 

Committee  of  Public  Safety,  xv, 
53'  55'  85,  118,  145,  147 

Committees  of  surveillance,  45  and 
note 

Conde,  the  surrender  of,  43 

Conspiracies  in  prisons,  82-102,  158, 
159,  169,  186,  188,  193,  207-209, 
226,  228,  229,  231-233,  235,  239, 
240,  243,  253,  258,  260,  263-265, 
277,  278,  285-288,  293,  305 

Contat,  Andre,  113,  247,  248 

Convention,  a  stormy  session  of 
the,  150 

Conviction  of  Fouquier-Tinville, 
the,  300 

Coquery,  informer,  83,  96,  98,  102, 
239,  243,  265 

Corday,  Charlotte,  the  trial  of,  44, 
181  note 

Cornillier,  Jean  Louis,  31 

Cornu,  Charles,  262,  263 

Cornulier,  Francois  Joseph,  90,  91, 
219,  220 

Cornulier,  Madame,  91 

Costard,  the  woman,  74 


INDEX 


j^o 


Gsurlet-Beaulop,  175 

Courner  Republicain,  the,  301 

Courtier,  12S 

Courtois,  53 

Couthon,  Georges,  75,  116,  117, 
120,  123,  198  and  note,  200,  201 
and  note,  214,  273,  304-306 

Crance,  Dubois  de,  147,  198 

Cressend,  Advocate,  283,  299 

Criminal  Tribunal,  the,  36-38 

Crussol  d'Amboise,  Marquis  de,  100 

Custine,  296 

Custines,  General,  43 

Danton,  xii,  xvi,   36,   37,   48,   50- 

61,   72,   146,    151,   164,    173-175, 

183,  207,  228,  248-250,  252-254, 

260,  261,  290,  293,  294,  305 

Danton's    speech    on    a    Criminal 

Tribunal,  36,  37 
Darmaing,  Fran9ois,  79,  305 
Darmaing,  Jean  Baptiste,  189 
Darmaing,     John    Pierre    Jerdme, 

79,  305 
David,  150,  176,  253,  254 
Debreaux,  125,  126 
Debregeas,  Judge  Jean,  275 
Debusne,  Lieutenant  Louis  Francis, 

115,  187,  188 
Defence  of  Fouquier-Tinville,  the, 

299,  300,  304-306,  308 
Degrouchette,      Pierre      Athanase 

Pepin,  96,  233  and  note,  234 
Deguaigne,  Pierre  Urbain,  118,  134, 

246,  247 
Deisderichen,  50,  51 
Delaporte,    Judge,    273,    282    note, 

299,  300 
Deli^ge,    Judge   Gabriel,    104,    109 

note,  120,  273,  282  note,  300 
Delignon,  Gabriel,  74 
Delorme,  282 
Demay,  118,  134 
Depois,  307 

Derbez,  Jacques,  99  note,  100 
Derozidres,  128 
Desboisseaux,  Charles  Huant,  113, 

117,  122  note,  165,  173,  249 
Descaffe,  109 
Deschamps,  Jean  Robert,  85,  178, 

187 
Desgrouettes,  Pepin,  98,  102 
Desisnards,  96 
Desmorest,  Pierre  Fran9ois  Etienne, 

122,  169,  189,  220,  221 
Desmoulins,  Madame,  57,  58 
Devillas,  Judge,  275 


Dhazard,  Jean  Baptiste  Mathieu,  1 22 

"  Dictatorship  of  Justice,"  the,  39 
and  note 

Didier,  xv  and  note,  249,  265,  266, 
273,  282  note 

Didier-Thirion,  294 

Dietrich,  Frederic,  260  and  note 

Dillon,  General  Arthur,  57,  58 

Dobsen,  Claude-Emmanuel,  152 
and  note,  207,  212,  215,  234-236 

Dodin,  89 

Domanget,  Advocate,  283,  299,  300 

Donze-Verteuil,  38 

Douet,  Jean  Claude,  65 

Douet,  Madame,  65 

Drunkards  and  madmen,  Fouquier- 
Tinville,  pitiless  towards,  41,  42 

Dubois,  186 

Dubois-Crance,  268 

Duchesne,  91 

Ducis,  letter  to  Fouquier-Tinville 
from  the  poet,  88  note 

Ducray,  Anne,  186,  187 

Dufau,  264 

Dufourny,  Louis  Pierre,  175  and 
note,  176 

Dumas,  Rene  Frangois,  xii,  xiii, 
47,  56,  61,  70-72,  75,  78,  81,  83, 
86,  90,  104,  105,  107,  109-111, 
114-116,  120,  123,  124,  132,  133, 
147,  149,  154,  168,  170,  180, 
182,  198,  200,  203,  226-228,  234, 
235,  238,  240,  243,  250,  254, 
271,  277,  279,  285,  297.  298, 
305,  306,  308 

Dumas's  arrests  in  court,  109 

Dumesnil,   Botot— 129  and  note 

Dupaumier,  Fran9ois,  spy,  83, 
239,  240,  293,  299,  300 

Duperron,  Anisson,  61 

Duplay,  73,  249,  272,  273,  282  note, 
283,  301 

Dupont,  109,  229 

Duprat,  281 

Dupre,  Lucien  Fran9ois,  259,  260 

Dupuy,  saved  by  Fouquier-Tin- 
ville, 237 

Dusser,  Pierre,  185 

East  India  Company,  50,  51 
Edelmann,  Frederic,  140-142 
Edelmann,  Louis,  140-142 
I^ducation     of     Fouquier-Tinville, 

the,  30 
Eglantine,  Fabre  d',  59,  251 
EHzabeth,  Madame,  vii.  63-65,  287 
Espagnac,  d',  251 


314 


INDEX 


Fabre,  Jeax,  38.  50,  120 

Fabricius  (see  Paris) 

Faro,  95,  96 

Father  of  Fouquier-Tinville,  the, 
30  and  note 

Favart,  Judge,  275 

Felix.  Jean  Baptiste  Henry  An- 
toine,  104,  109  note,  120,  273, 
282  note,  298 

Feral,  Jean  Pierre  Victor,  176 

Ferrand,  Captain,  271  and  note 

Ferri^re-Sauveboeuf,  Louis  Fran- 
cois, 178,  179 

Feuilles,  Jean,  124,  126,  128 

Feuquieres,  the  execution  of  the 
Marquise  de,  257,  258,  292,  293 

Fleuriot  {see  Lescot-Fleuriot) 

Fleury,  Comte  de,  the  death  of, 
213-  285 

letter    to    Dumas    from,    81, 

82,  182 

Fleury,  Edouard,  33 
Fleury,  Madame  Jol}^  de,  97 
Fonteines-Bire,  Marie  Pierre  Joseph, 

247 
Fontenay,    Deputy    Goupillen    de, 

112 
Forestier,  Judge,  164,  165,  177,  191, 

211,  275  note 
Forrestier,  Jean  Etienne,  121 
Foucault,  Judge,  120,  273,  282  note, 

300 
Fouquier,  Eloy,  30  and  note,  182 
Fouquier,  Emilie,  Fran9ois,  32 
Fouquier,  Genevieve  Louise,  32 
Fouquier,  Marie  Adelaide,  32,  33 
Fouquier,  Pierre  Quentin,  32,  107 
Fouquier  de  Forest,  Quentin,  31 
Fouquier  d'Herouel,  Pierre  Eloi,  31 
Fouquier     de     Vauville,     Charles 

Frangois,  31 
Fouquier-Tinville,   Antoine,   Quen- 
tin, his  attitude  on  the  arrest  of 

Dumas,  no 

his  attitude  during  his  trial, 

291 


at  the  bar  of  the  Convention, 
144-149 
—  the  birth  of,  30 

the  character  of,  xii,  33,  166, 


167,  186,  189,  202,  246,  308 

and  the  children  in  the  Con- 


ciergerie  prison,  258 
his    conduct   on   the   gth   of 

Thermidor,  114-118 
—  convicted     and     condemned. 


300 


Fouquier-Tinville,  the  defence  of, 
299,  300,  304-306,  308 

denounced  by  Freron,  123 

the  diligence  of.  49,  195 

the  education  of,  30 

his  first  examination  by  Judge 

Forestier,  196-2 11 

his  final  examination  by  Judge 


Debregeas,  275-282 

—  th?  execution  of,  303 

—  an     indictment     altered     in 
court  by,  105.  106 

an  indictment  granted  against. 


275 

—  Judicis's  indictment  against, 
272-274 

a  director  of    the  jury  d' ac- 


cusation, 30,  33,  34,  242 

and  the  jurors,   xiv,   xv,   61 


and  note,  165,  166,  169,  172-174, 
180,  186,  197,  198,  221,  246, 
249,  255,  260,  265-272,  277,  290, 
292,  294 

—  his  last  written  words,  302 

—  Leblois's  indictment  against, 
212-215 

—  letter  to  Camille  Desmoulins 


from,  23 

—  letter   to   the   Committee   of 
PubUc  Safety  from,  53 

—  letter  to  Dumas  from,  70 

—  letter  to  Hanriot  from,  47 
letter  to   the   Popular  Com- 


mission   from,     159,     191     and 
note 

—  his  letters  from  prison  to  his 
wife,  156-163 

—  the  marriage  of,  32 

—  and   Marie   Antoinette's  last 


letter,  ix 

—  his  memorials  for  his  defence. 

i30-i35>  139-143 

—  his    extraordinary    memory, 
282 

—  mistook    two    prisoners    for 
one,  62 

—  saved  the  Nantes  prisoners, 
154,  180,  212,  237,  308 

—  the  physical  features  of,  33 

—  in    the    Conciergerie    prison, 

129-135'  212 

—  in   the   Hospice   de   I'Eveche 


prison,  211,  212 

in  the  Plessis-Egatite  prison. 


195 


in  the  Sainte-Pelagie  prison, 
151,  159.  161 


INDEX 


315 


Fouquier-Tinville,  and  prison  spies, 
82-102,  158,  159,  169,  186,  188, 
193.  207,  209,  213,  226,  228-233, 
235.  239,  240,  243,  246,  253, 
258,  260,  263-265,  277,  278,  285- 
288,  293,  305,  306 

Procurator  of  the  Commune 

of  Paris,  35 

Public  Prosecutor,  38 

the  public  trial  of,  282-301 

refused  to  stop  the  executions 


on  the  9th  of  Thermidor,  113,  i6g 
Robespierre  denounced  by,  55 


Fouquier-Tinville,  Madame  (see 
Ancourt,  Henriette  Gerard  d') 

Fouquier-Tinville' s  Printed  Trial, 
164 

"  Fouquier's  store-house,"  154,  195 

Fournies,  58  note 

Fran9ois,  206,  280 

Freron,  Deputj%  53,  123,  159,  178, 
200 

Freteau,  Emmanuel  Marie  Michel 
Philppe,  40,  65,  79,  80,  174,  189, 
190,  210,  214  note,  294,  295 

Freys,  the  bankers,  50,  51 

Gaillard  de  la  Ferriere,  official 
advocate  for    Fouquier-Tinville, 

281  and  note,  283,  299 
Gaillart-Lecart.  Judge,  275,  283 
Ganney,  273,  282  note,  300,  301 
Garce,  Captain,  307 
Gamier-Launay,  Judge,   120,   273, 

282  note,  299,  300 
Gastrez,  Nicolas,  182,  285 
Gauthier,  g6,  147,  273,  282  note 
Gautier,  249 

Gayvemon,  147 

Gelfroy,  68,  69 

Gency,  Antoine,  121 

Giot,  117 

Girard,  juror,   165,   273,   282   note, 

295.  300 
Girard,  registrar's  clerk,  70 
Girondins,  the,  xii,  xvi 
Gobeau,  Adrien  Nicolas,  121 
Gobel,  58 

Gobert,  Advocate,  283 
Gobertiere,  Jean  Placide,  182 
Godart.  Judge  Jean  Fran9ois,  246, 

257,  260,  283 
Godeau,  Judge,  275 
Gossiun,  53 
Goubaux.  Pierre,  185 
Gouges,  Olympe  de,  xvi 
Gouget-Deslandres,  95 


Gouillin,  153 

Goujon,  150 

Goupilleau  (of  Montaigu),  53 

Goureau,  Citizeness,   173 

Goureau,  Germain  Andre,  188 

Goursault,  88 

Grammont.  87  note,  88,  93,  209 

Grand,  Judge,  275,  283 

Grandmaison,  212  and  note 

Granger,    Jean   Jacques,    196,   275 

note,  280 
Ganges,  211 
Gravier,  60 
Grebeauval,  Nicolas,  44,   57,   iir, 

112,  115,  185 
Grimaldi-Monaco,    Ther^se    Fraa- 

9oise  de  Stamville,  Princesse  de, 

and    Fouquier-Tinville,    x,    100, 

loi,  112 
Gueneau,  Advocate,  283,  299 
Guenet,  Jean  Marie,  122 
Guerin,  Nicolas,  121 
Guflroy,  Armand  Benoit,  180,  i8r, 

237 
Guillot  and  Valagnos,  83  and  note 
Gusman,  50,  51 
Guyard,  Louis  Severin,  spy,  83,  163, 

265,  293,  301 

Hall  of  Equality,  scene  on  the 

gth  of   Thermidor  in  the,    104- 

112 
Hally,  Louis  Charles,  175,  243 
Hanriot,  Fran9ois,  46,  47,  60,  115, 

117,  120.  132,  168,  199,  241,  249, 

250.  269 
Harny,   Judge,   81,   120,    273,   282 

note,  290,  297,  300 
Harville,   General,   307 
Herbert,   xiii.,   xvi,   47-49,   51,   58, 

59,  72,   146,   173,   176,  187,  242, 

249 

Herbert,  Madame,  58 

Herman,  Judge  Armand  Martial 
Joseph,  xii.  44,  52-55,  57,  60-62, 
85,  151,  174,  228,  235,  250,  254, 
290,  293,  294,  299,  300 

Henry,  Barbe,  61 

Heron,  222,  224  and  note,  225 

HiUiers,  Baraguay  d',  286 

Histoire  Parlementaire,  164 

Historical  Library  of  the  City  of 
Paris,  The,   157 

Hoche,    General,    147 

Horgne,  Nicolas  Eloi,  68 

Hospice  de  I'Eveche,  Fouquier- 
Tinville  in  the,  211  and  note 


3i6 


INDEX 


Indictment  altered  in  court,  an, 
105,  106.  275 

Indictments  drawn  by  Fouquier- 
Tinville,  40,  48,  50.  64,  65,  77, 
loi,  105,  106,  123,  134,  140,  174, 
2^3.  275-278,  305,  306,  309 

Indictments  against  Fouquier-Tin- 
ville,  212-215,  272-274 

Jacobin   Club,   the,   49   note,   75, 

89,  no,  121,  133,  158,  270 
Jacquet,    Marie   Therdse    Marchal, 

218 
Jarzoufflet,  notary,  74 
Jeune  Captive,  98 
Jobert  (the  Belgian),  spy,  83,  96, 

109,  265 
Joly,  Jean  Louis,  usher,  182,  183 
Joly,  of  the  Theatre  des  Arts,  265 
Josse,  Raymond,  164,  196,  211 
Jourdan,  281 
Jourdeuil,  Didier,  295 
Judicial  assassinations,  xii  and  note 
Judicis,  Public  Prosecutor,  272-275, 

282 
Julien,  Denis  Michel,  sp}-,  231,  235 
Jullienne,  Jean  Baptiste,  243,  263 
Jurors,  Fouquier-Tinville  and  the, 

xiv,  XV,  61  and  Jtote,  165,  166,  169, 

172-174,  180,  186,  197,  198,  221, 

246,  249,  255,  260,  265-272,  277, 

290,  292,  294 
Jurors  at  Fouquier-Tinville's  trial, 

the,  281,  283  and  note 
Jury  d' accusation,  29  and  note,  33, 

34'  242 
Jury  de  jugement,  29  and  note 

Kellerman,  General,  147,  198 

Laboureau  acquitted,  49 
Labrenne,  Sebastien  Alaroze,   107- 

109 
Lascoste,  Elie,  150 
Lacroix,  50,  52,  54 
Lafayette,  29 
Lafleuterie,  161,  211,  281 
Lailotte,  spy,  54,  57,  58,  253 
Lafond,  Jean  Baptiste,  106 
Laignelot,  53 

Lainville,  Mathurin  Denys,  241,  242 
La  Jariette's  dinner-party,  112 
Lakanal,    143 
Lambert,  109 
Lamporte,  Judge,  120 
Lanchon,  269 
LEinglois,  270 


Lanne,  Herman's  assistant,  84,  187, 
209,  228  and  tioie,  288,  293,  299, 
300 

Lanne,  Robespierre's  agent,  149 

Laplace,  Claude  Nicolas,  185 

Lapparent,  Deputy  Cochose  de,  112 

La  Pointe,  96 

Laport,  249 

Laruelle,  Captain,  271  and  note 

Lauchet,  Jean,  184 

Laurent,  Denis  Etienne,   121 

Lavalatte,  Loviis  Jean  Baptiste,  120 

Lavaux,  President,  34 

Lavergne-Champlaurier,  Colonel 
Louis  Fran9ois  de,  56,  57 

Lavcrgne,  Madame  de.  56,  57,  306 

Law  of  the  22nd  of   Prairial,  the, 

75.  76 
Lebas,  116,  117,  123,  140,  198,  200 
Lebois,  194,  199  note,  212-215,  280 

and  note 
Lebon,  Joseph,  152 
Leborgne,  206 

Leclere,  Jean  Baptiste  Nicolas,  257 
Lecoin,    Pierre    Vincent   Augustin, 

120 
Lacointre    (of    Versailles),    ix,    53, 

123,  132,  144,  148-152,  163  and 

note,  181,  215 
Lafiot,  Jean-Alban,  144  and  note 
Legendre,  49  note,  53,  151 
Legot,  ix 
Legrand,  117 

Legris,  91  and  note,  92,  124,  164 
Lenain,  231 
Lenotre,  xvii 
Lepecheux,  96 
Lepeletier-Rosambo,  59 
Le  Petit,  Pierre  Armand,  270 
Lerebours,  117 
Leroy,    "  Tenth   of   August,"    249, 

273,  282  note,  286,  299,  300 
Lescot-Fleuriot.  Jean  Baptiste  Ed- 

mond,  xii,  xiii,  xv,  38,  115,  121, 

132,  168,  198,  200,  201  and  note, 

241,  248  and  note,  249,  251,  252 
Lesenne,  turn-key  of  the   Luxem- 

bourge,  87,  102,  210  note,  285 
Letter    from    Fouquier-Tinville    to 

Camille  Desmoulins,  33 

the     Committee     of     Public 

Safety,  53 

Dumas,  70 

— — Hanriot,  47 

the  National  Convention,  156 

the  Popular  Commission,  159, 


igi  and  note 


INDEX 


317 


o 


Letters  fromFouquier-Tinville,  from 

prison,  to  his  wife,  156-163 
from  prisoners  to  Fourquier- 

Tinville,  66,  67 
Lhuillier,  Jean  Antoine,  107-109 
Liendon,  Gilbert,  60,  64,  120,  122, 

168,  1 84',  273,  289,  296,  298,  306 
Liger,     Vice-President,     218,     283, 

and  note 
Limage,  124-126 
Lindet,  Robert,  53 
Lohier,  91,  272,  273,  282  note.  297, 

300 
Loisillier,  Claude  Fran9ois,  63 
Loizerolles,    Francois    Simon,    xiii, 

98,  99>  236,  237,  297 
Loizerolles,  Jean  Simon,  executed 

in  error,  xiii,  98,  99,  236,  237,  297 
Lomenie,  Athanase  de,  63,  64 
Lomenie,  Charles  de.  63 
Lomenie,  Fran9ois  de,  63 
Lomenie,  Martial  de,  63 
Lomenie  de  Brienne,  Comte,  287- 

289 
Louis  (of  the  Bas  Rhin),  xvi,  130, 

143.  151 
Louis  XVL,  attempt  to  save,  72 

Will  of,  vii. 

Louvet,  117 

Lucille,  58 

Ludot,  53 

Lumiere,  165,  173.  249 

Luttier,  42  and  note 

Luxembourg  prison,  conspiracy  in 

the,  83,  85-88  and  note,  92,  102, 

158,  159,  169,  186,  188,  193,  208. 

2og,  231,  235,  253,  264,  265,  277, 

278,  285-287 
Lyons  in  insurrection,  44 

Machet-Velye,  Pierre  Charles,  87 

note 
"  Magon  conspiracy,"   the,  90,  91, 

220,  260 
jNIaillard,  269 
Maille,  Louis  Fran9ois  de,  92,  96,  97, 

294,  297 
Maille,  Vincomtesse  de,  97,  306 
Maire,   Judge  Antoine  Marie,   104, 

ICQ  note.  III,  120,  273,  282  note, 

298,    300 
Malarme,  Bernard  Jean  Louis,  116, 

117,  227,  238,  257 
Malparti,  Simon,  126 
Manini,   Joseph,  spy,  83,  96,   102, 

•-39>  2^3,  264,  265 
Manuel,  94,  95 


Manzuji-,  Marquis  de,  70 

Marat,  269 

Marche,  109,  112  note 

Marie  Antoinette,  and  de  Batz,'72 

the  execution  of,  vii,  173 

the  indictment  of,  41,  134 

the  last  letter  of,  vii-x 

the  trial  of,  xii,  xvi,  228 

Martel,  133 

Martin,  Jean  Frederic,  87,  88,  186 

Massieu,  ix 

Masson,   Judge,  74 

Maurin,  Jean  Dominique,  executed 

in  error,  86,  87,  232,  240,  277,  278, 

286,    306 
Maurin,  Louis  Clair,  105,  106 
Mayence,  the  capitulation  of.  43 
Mayet,   Madame   de,    executed    ia 

error,  97  and  note 
Mazerat.  Judge,  275 
Memorials  for  the  defence  of  Fou- 

quier-Tinville,    131-135,   139-143, 

157-161,  284 
Menardiere,  Mulot  de  la.  and  the 

Carmelite  nuns,  89,  90 
Mercereau,  Charles,  263,  264 
Merlin  (of  Douai).  xvi,  44,  45,  53. 

143,  216 
Merlin  (of  Thionville),  53,  iiS,  132, 

134,  148,  149 
Meunier,  spy,  87,  231 
Meursin,  Isabelle  Pigret  de,  97 
Meynard-Mellet,    Joseph,    executed 

in  error,  92,  96 
Michelot,  140  and  note,  142 
Millet,  265 
Molin,  Horace,  96 
Momoro,  49,  266 
Monaco,  Princesse  de  {see  Grinaldi- 

Monaco) 
Monet,  Gabriel   Nicolas,    173,  243, 

244 
Monnet  of  Strasburg,  140,  142 
Montane,     Jacques-Bernard-Marie, 

38,  44,  181  and  note,  182,  230,  307 
Montauban,  conspiracy  at.  271 
Montbrazon-Rohan,  Louis  Armand 

Constantine,  95 
Montmartre,  the  Abbess  of,  97 
Montmorency,  Louis  de  Laval,  96 
Moreau,  Pierre  Louis,  88  note 
Morin,  Charles  Sosth^ne,  2  78 
Morin,  Denys,  278 
Morin,  Jacques,  27S 
Morin,  Jean.  278 
Morin.   Louis  Clerc,   87,   232,   240, 

277.  278,  286 


3i8 


INDEX 


Morin,  Nicolas,  2  78 

Morisans,  attendants  in  the  Tri- 
bunal refreshment-room,  1 15-1 17, 
226-228 

Morisson,  Deputy,  112 

Mouchet,  the  King's  architect,  307 

Mouchy,  Madame,  185 

Mouchy,  Marshal  de  Noailles-,  185 

Mury,  266 

Nantes,  acquittal  of  prisoners  from, 
153-158,  180,  212,  237,  308 

Narbonne-Pelet,  Comtesse  de,   100 

Natoire,  Charles,  painter,  vii 

Naulin,  Judge,  75,  273,  281,  282 
note,  299,  300 

Nicolas,  173 

Noailles  ladies,  the,  92 

Nuns  sentenced  to  death,  89,  90, 
142 

Olivier-Despallieres,  62 

Orleans,  Due  d',  xii 

Orleans  witnesses  in  the  Leonard 

Bourdon  case,  241,  262,  263 
Ormesson,  Lefebvre  d',  59 
Osselin,  Charles  Nicolas,   178  and 

note,  187 
Oudart,  President,  114 
Outlaws,  seventy  executed  on  one 

day, 122 

Pache,  Mayor  of  Paris,  xiii, 
249,  250 

Paniers,  the,  305 

Panis,  53 

Pare,  xii,  61 

Paris,  Francois  Marie,  190,  191 

Paris,  Nicolas  Joseph  (Fabricius), 
52,  54,  92,  124,  164  and  note, 
171,  172,  178,  230,  248-256,  259, 
260,  279,  280,  290,  291,  294,  309 

Paris  pendant  la  Revolution,  291 

Paris,  the  prisons  of,  82  and  note 

Pasquier,  59 

Payan,  Claude  Fran9ois,  115,  117, 
120,  132,  241 

Pelchet,  Jean-Claude,  89 

P^rard,  Catherine,  74 

Perdry,  Charles  Louis,  225,  226 

Fire  Duchesne,  47,  49 

Peres  case,  the,  294-296,  306 

Pereyra,  51 

Perron,  76 

Pesme,  registrar,  109 

Petit,  207 

Petit-Tressein,  Leonard,  188 


Phihppeaux,  50,  249-252 

Pichard-Dupage,  62 

Pigeon,  Alexandre  Rosalie,  173 

Pigeot,  273,  282  note 

Pinard,  212  and  note 

Pissis,     Judge     Charles     Francois 

Joseph,  218,  219,  246,  257,  260, 

263,  275 
Pitt's  gold,  73 
Plessis  prison,  Fouquier-Tinville  in 

the,  i95>  211,  275 
Pocholle,  Pierre  Pomponne  Amedee, 

144  and  note 
Poincarre,  124,  126-128 
Porcher,  270 
Pouteau.  34 
Prevot,  Suzanne,  68 
Prieur,  91,  246,  249,  273,  282  note, 

283,  296,  300 
Prisoners,     Dumas     wanted     160 

tried  at  once,  149 
Proly,  51 
Public  Prosecutor,  the  duties  and 

powers  of  the,  39-45,  50,  61,  66 
Puy  de  Verine  case,  the,  294,  298, 

306 

Qu^rrohen,  Madame,  ioi 
Quetineau,  Catherine,  47,  49,  176 
Quetineau,  Colonel,  49 

Raymond-Narbonne,  Comtesse,  100 

Real,  96 

"  Red  Shirts,"  the.  So,  81,  174,  285, 

289,  290 
Renaudin,  91,   165,   173,  249,  251, 

272,    273,    282    note,    283,    296, 

300 
Renault,  Cecile,  73,  74,  80,  170,  174 
Retz,  298  and  note 
Revolutionary  Committees,  45 
Revolutionary  Tribunal,  the,  39-67, 

75,   76,    104-112,    120,   143,    149, 

150,  216 

the,  reorganized,  216 

scene  on  the  9th  of  Thermidor 

in  the,  104-112 

Richard,  186 

Richard,  Citizeness,  186,  206,  25S 

Rignaud,  Honore,  letter  to  Iiis  wife 

from,  60 
Riot  on  the  9th  of  Thermidor,  the, 

114 
Robespierre,  Augustin  Bon  Joseph, 

the  arrest  of,  116,  117,  121,  132, 

200,    before    the    Tribunal,   121, 

132 


INDEX 


319 


Robespierre,  Maximilien,  ix,  xiii, 
29,  30  and  note,  44,  48,  55,  67, 
69-73.  75.  86,  88,  89,  91,  no,  112, 
114-117,  120,  123,  124,  130-133, 
145-149,  154,  168,  171,  182,  192, 
198-201,  214,  234,  244,  248,  250, 
269,  272,  273,  302,  304-306 

the  arrest  of,  11 4-1 17 

— - —  before  the  Tribunal,  120 

Robin,  53 

Robinet,  96 

Robinet,  Dr.  51  and  note 

Roblatre,  94,  265 

Roland,  Madame,  xiii 

Ronsin,  47-49.  51.  173.  I75.  249, 
269 

Roucher,  Antoine,  xiii,  98 

Royer,  88,  122 

Saint-Aignax,  Madame  de,  97 
Saint-Amaranthe,  Madame  de,  81 
Saint-Hilaire,  Jeremie,  106 
Saint-Just,    Antoine,    39   note,    48, 

50,  53.  55.  58,  86,  116,  117,  121, 

123,  124,  130-132,  140,  149,  198, 

200,  201,  302,  304,  306 
Saint-Just,  the  arrest  of,  116 
Saint-Lazare  prison,  conspiracy  in 

the,  83,  96-100,  234,  264 
Fouquier-Tinville  in  the,  151, 

195 
Saint-Perns,  the  case  of  the,  90,  91, 

219,  220,  296,  297,  306 
Saint-Simon,  Simeon  de.  Bishop  of 

Agde,  100 
Salle,  Gabriel  Fran9ois,  107-109 
Sallier,  Guy  Marie,  60,  244-246,  294 
Sallier,    Henry    Guy,    executed    in 

error,  60,  245,  294 
Sambat,  Jean  Baptiste,  174 
Sanson,  the  executioner,  62,  169 
Sanson,  Charles  Henri,  189 
Sanson,  Captain  Henri,  189 
Sanson,  Nicolas  Charles  Gabriel,  189 
Sanson,  Lieutenant  Pierre  Charles, 

189 
Santerre,  222 
Sarce,  Captain,  237 
Saron,  Bochart,  de,  59 
Saugnier,  Genevieve  Dorothee,  32 
Scelle,  96 
Scellier,   Judge  Gabriel  Toussaint, 

44.  75.  83,  88,  III,  112,  115,  120, 

235.  273,  282  note,  299-301 
Schneider,  Euloge,  140,  141 
Sechelles,  Herault  de,  50 
Seme,  96 


Senar,  Gabriel  Jerome,  221-225, 
244,  285 

Sers,  Louis,  xiv,  98 

Sezille,  Antoine,  189,  190,  295 

Simon,  Antoine,  53,  121 

Simond,  Deputy  Philibert,  57,  58 

Simonnet,   Ktienne,   113,    168,   221 

Soubise  Palace,  vii 

Soulier,  251 

Spies,  police,  82-102,  158,  159,  169, 
186,  188,  193,  207,  209,  213,  226, 
228-233,  235.  239,  240,  243,  246, 

253,  258,  260,  263-265,  277,  278, 
285-288,  293.  305.  306 

Strahl,  Nicolas,  87 

Strasburg  patriots,  the  case  of  the, 

139-142 
Subleyras,    Pierre    Noel,    85,    191, 

and  note,  192 

Tabouillot,  Claire,  61 

Tallien,  148.  268 

Tampon,    Judge    PhiUppe    Marie, 

114,  244 
Tavernier,    Charles    Nicolas,    164, 

168,  171,  172,  201,  290,  292 
Tavernier,  Jean  Baptiste,  177,  178 
Theot,  Catherine,  133  and  note 
Thery,  officer  of  health,  49 
Thieuret-Grandpre,    Jean    Nicolas, 

66,  174,  175,  288,  289,  295 
Thirion,  Didier,  183,  184 
Thomas,  296 
Thuriot,  118,  120,  134 
Tirrart,  Nicolas,  165,  166 
Tomassin,  189 
Topino-Lebrun,  Jean  Baptiste,  52, 

173,  174,  246,  254 
Toulon  surrendered  to  the  English, 

44 
Toupin,  the  Breton,  76,  306 
Toutain,  the  brothers,  280  and  note 
Trey,  273,  283,  301 
Trial  of  Fouquier-Tinville,  the,  xii, 

XV  note,  xvi,  xvii,  33,  52,  55,  60, 

62-64,  66,  77,  78,  80,  83,  85,  87, 

91,  92,  98-100,  165-301 
Trinchard,  54,  60,  165,  191  note,  246, 

254,  272  and  note,  273,  282  note, 
299,  301 

Trippier,    Louis    Joseph    Georges, 

257.  258 
Tronson  -  Ducoudray,      Guillaume 

Alexandre,  241  and  note 
Trudaines,  Charles,  Louis,  98 
Trudaines,  Charles  Michel,  98 
Turreau,  123 


^20 


INDEX 


Vadier,  XV,  56.  79,  T46.  150-152, 

176,   179,   181,   189,  237,  240, 
251,  254,  305 

Valagnos,  spy,  83, 187,  293.  300,  301 

Valaze,  276 

Valenciennes,  the    capitulation    of. 

43 
Vauchelet,  Antome,   87,   231,   232, 

235 

Vergne,  Pierre  Nicolos,  229.  230 

Vergnhes,  Jean  Baptiste,  his  din- 
ner-party on  the  9th  of  Thermi- 
dor,  112-114,  168,  240,  241, 
244 

Verine,  Durand  Puy  de,  104,  105 

Vemey,  Joseph,  spy,  83,  87,  88, 
96,  186,  209,  228,  229  and  note, 
231,  232,  293 

Vernier,  300 

Viart,  175 

Viefville,  157 

Vilate,  165,  173,  249,  273,  282  note, 
283,  299,  300 

Villain,  Advocate,  283 

Vincent,  47-49.  5i.  249,  269 


Vingtrie,  Lieutenant   Bayard    La, 

237 
ViroUe,  surgeon,  95 
Vitry,  de,  162 

Vivier,  Nicolas  Frangois,  121 
Vonschriltz,    Joseph    Honore,    229 

and  note,  287 
Voulland,  Jean  Henry,  xv.  54,  56, 

117,    118,    146,    150,    151,    176, 

234,  240,  251,  254,  290 

Wailly,  de,  43 
Wallon,  xvii,  82  note 
Westermann,  General,  51,  173,  251 
Witnesses     at     Fouquier-Tinville's 

trial,  the,  165-192,  218-273,  285- 

299 
Wives  of  Fouquier-Tinville,  the,  32 
Wolf,    Robert,    92,    164,    167-172, 

178,    259,    271,    279,    290,    291, 

305.  309 
Wouame,  Jacques  Louis  Frederic, 
121 

Yung,  140,  142 


OLD  FAMILY  RECORDS 

IN  the  muniment  chests  of  many  County 
FamiUes  there  exist,  without  doubt, 
papers  and  records  of  very  great  historical 
and  biographical  value.  From  time  to  time 
a  book  will  appear  based  upon  such  material. 
A  preface  will  explain  how  the  papers  that 
appear  in  the  volume  were  brought  to  light 
through  the  industry  and  enterprise  of  some 
antiquarian  or  man  of  letters,  and  how  he  had 
persuaded  their  owner  to  allow  to  be  published 
what  he  had  thought  possessed  interest  only 
for  himself  and  members  of  his  family. 


^TOT  only  documents  and  correspondence 
^  relating  to  literary,  political,  or  his- 
torical matters  are  likely  to  prove  of  interest ; 
but  also  family  papers  that  tell  of  the  social 


OLD  FAMILY  RECORDS 

or  domestic  life  of  a  past  century  or  a  bygone 
generation.  Messrs.  Herbert  Jenkins  Ltd. 
will  be  pleased  at  any  time  to  advise  the 
possessors  of  Old  Diaries,  Manuscripts, 
Letters,  or  any  other  description  of  Family 
Papers,  as  to  their  suitability  for  publication 
in  book  form.  When  deemed  desirable  the 
papers  themselves,  duly  insured  against  loss 
or  damage  during  transit,  w^ill,  with  the 
consent  of  the  owner,  be  submitted  to 
experts. 

ON  all  such  matters  advice  will  be  given 
without  involving  the  possessor  of  the 
original  documents  in  any  expense  or  liability. 
In  the  first  instance  a  list  of  the  papers  upon 
which  advice  may  be  required  should  be 
enclosed,  giving  some  particulars  of  their 
nature  (if  letters,  by  whom  and  to  whom 
written),  dates  and  approximate  extent. 

DIRECTORS, :  ADDRESS  I 

SIR  GEORGE  H.  CHUBB,  BT.      HERBERT  JENKINS  LTD. 
ALEX  W.  HILL,  M.A.  12  ARUNDEL  PLACE, 

HERBERT  JENKINS.  HAYMARKET,  LONDON. 


UNIVERSITY  OF  CALIFORNIA  LIBRARY 

Los  Angeles 

This  book  is  DUE  on  the  last  date  stamped  below. 


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